Planning for your financial future involves a lot more than simply shoveling money in index funds in your 401k plan. A great deal of care and expertise should be devoted to developing a concrete financial plan. The quality of the financial planning can significantly impact the quality of your retirement as well as the legacy that you leave behind for your children and grandchildren.
A high-quality legal professional can help to develop a complete financial plan that can protect your needs and your assets, preventing depletion to taxes, governmental authorities and taxes. Here are the major areas that a legal professional can provide when crafting a financial plan.
Asset Protection and Investments
It is important to protect your assets from loss as part of your financial planning process. If you don’t financially protect your assets, you can potentially lose them. Many of the governmental insurance programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, will require you to use up your existing financial assets before you are able to become eligible for these benefits. A financial planning can help you to prevent the loss of some of your assets by a number of different fiscal strategies such as placing your financial assets in trusts and other vehicles that can provide you with financial security, without risking your assets for potential loss.
A lawyer can help you to understand these protected investment vehicles and can help you to establish them in a way that can protect your assets. The same is true for lawsuits; the right attorney can help you to prevent your assets from being commandeered in a lawsuit settlement by crafting a living trust agreement to protect your assets. Finally, an improperly devised financial plan can leave you susceptible to additional taxes which can deplete your asset base.
Drafting a Will
Nobody lives forever and having a will drafted will help to protect your assets and is an essential part of planning for your financial future. While software exists to help you draft your own will, using a professional lawyer to help you to draft a will can significantly improve the chances that your will can pass through the probate process. The drafting of a will can help to ensure that your assets are not only given to your designated beneficiaries, but also that those beneficiaries don’t experience undue hardship collecting their inheritance.
If you have significant assets, the need to involve a legal professional to financially plan for you grows. Many people plan for their estate by setting up revocable trusts that protect their assets, provide for tax savings, and allow for an easier disposal of your assets when you pass away. The right financial vehicles for your estate depend widely on the facts and circumstances of your financial picture and your goals and a lawyer can help.
Disposing Illiquid Assets
Many individuals have illiquid assets that they may need to dispose of, or monetize, as part of their planning for their financial future. Interests in companies and LLCs, real estate holdings, and investments in alternative assets are all examples of illiquid assets that can be challenging to dispose of. Finding ways to convert these assets into cash or to liquidate them can be greatly aided by a lawyer experienced in developing financial plans for individuals.
Nobody lives forever and having a viable financial plan can greatly ease yourself into a comfortable retirement and provide your heirs with a sizable inheritance. To develop this financial plan, call our office to schedule a consultation with an experienced lawyer who can guide you towards a tax effective and prudent solution to the nuanced situation you are facing as you prepare for your future.