The inevitability of leaving one’s assets behind when we pass, while an uncomfortable realization for most, does facilitate the need for proper estate planning. Estates that lack an explicit will or proper disposition instructions often languish in probate court and can even result in disagreement and infighting among beneficiaries on how best to divide the estate. Additional failure to consider tax implications and asset classes can put unnecessary strain on loved ones. A well thought out assessment of one’s financial assets and an understanding of the tax and legal ramifications of an estate and its beneficiaries should be at the center of a strong estate plan. Hudson Valley Financial Services is prepared to assist with all of the complexities surrounding estate assets and inheritance.
Hudson Valley Financial Services recognizes that a proper estate plan has several components. Those components should, at a minimum, include a will, power of attorney, trust, and a living will. A living will protects your assets against long-term health care costs, and explicitly instructs caregivers on life-sustaining measures. If there are tax considerations, the creation of a trust will help shelter funds from a high tax burden.
As with most financial plans, a logical first step in estate planning is to take inventory of your assets. Assets can include savings, investments, real estate holdings, retirement plans and possibly business interests. Once an assessment is complete, the plan can move on to the matters of taxes, wealth transfer, trusts, health care and legalities. When conducted properly, estate planning allows an individual or individuals (trust) to pass along their assets and wealth to their designated heirs in a seamless and burden-free manner.
In addition to estate planning, Hudson Valley Financial Services is also prepared to facilitate the handling of inheritance. If you’ve recently lost a loved one and are in a position to take possession of estate assets, Hudson Valley Financial Services can assist with identifying both next steps and tax obligations. We are also well equipped to assist in formulating a plan for handling your finances. We support both estates and beneficiaries in formulating effective asset plans.
Proper tax planning and investment further protects your assets and allows beneficiaries to receive the full benefits of the transfer of wealth. While it cannot mitigate the loss experienced by loved ones, an estate plan can distribute your assets in a manner that conveys your care and willingness to provide for your loved ones. Your estate can offer support even when you can no longer do so directly.