When that extra bit of money from your tax refund lands in your bank account,  it’s easy to start dreaming about all the ways you can use it. Financial experts may tell you that it’s a chance to pay off debts, tuck away savings for an emergency, or add to your retirement savings. However, there’s an often-overlooked option that not only provides immediate satisfaction but ensures long-term benefits for both you and your loved ones: estate planning.

In its most basic terms, estate planning involves making a plan for what happens to your belongings and finances after you’re gone, or if you become incapacitated. Think of it as creating a roadmap for your loved ones to follow, ensuring they’re taken care of and know exactly how to handle your estate according to your wishes. After all, someone will have to do something with your stuff after you’re gone, and if you’re the one who takes care of it while you can, you can save your loved ones a lot of pain. And, make sure you are cared for in the way you want, by the people you want, if you become incapacitated.

Why You Need an Estate Plan

Not only do you need a plan for what happens with your finances and personal items after you’re gone or become incapacitated, but you also need an estate plan if any of the following are true:

  • You care about the people in your life who will handle things for you, if you cannot. 
  • You want your wishes to be honored. 
  • You want to save money and time (for yourself and your family). 
  • You have minor children. 

So now you know you need an estate plan but aren’t sure what to do next. If you feel like the process seems daunting, don’t worry. Taking that first step is easier than you might think. 

Put Your Tax Refund To Work 

You might consider using your tax refund to do your estate plan on your own or opt for a cheap online service. While these options can seem cost-effective at first glance, they don’t offer the comprehensive coverage and personalized advice that your unique situation requires. 

Instead, investing your refund in working with a heart centered, holistic attorney with a process in place for ensuring that your plan works throughout your lifetime is a much wiser choice. We will get to know you, your family dynamics, and your assets, and then help you choose the right plan for you both now, and into the future. Creating a will or a trust isn’t a one and done thing you do, and then put it on a shelf or in a drawer and never look at it again. When you do that, your plan is almost guaranteed to fail when the people you love need it. In that case, it’s almost better to do nothing because then at least you have it on your to-do list. False security is one of the greatest risks of estate planning.

We will help you navigate the law, and also help you tailor your estate plan to fit your specific needs, as well as provide peace of mind knowing that your estate plan is thorough and legally sound. Remember, when it comes to safeguarding your family’s future and ensuring your wishes are accurately reflected, the value of expert guidance is well worth the investment.

At the very least, your attorney should help you create the relevant documents, including:

  • Creating a Will
  • Setting Up a Trust
  • Selecting Guardians and Executors
  • Managing Taxes and Expenses

These are all undoubtedly important, and what most estate planning attorneys will do for you. However, we will go a few steps further, ensuring that investing your tax refund in an estate plan is the very best investment you’ll make all year. In fact, we promise to deliver a plan to clients that works throughout your lifetime. We do this by:

  • Empowering you to choose the right plan that fits your unique family situation, values, and budget (most lawyers will tell you what you need);
  • Ensuring your assets are inventoried and don’t end up lost (most lawyers won’t tell you that this happens – a lot – to the tune of billions of dollars every year);
  • Creating a Kids Protection Plan® , a comprehensive plan outside of your will for what happens to your kids if something happened to you (most lawyers don’t even think to do this);
  • Being a trusted advisor for your family, so they have someone to turn to for help when something happens to you (most lawyers don’t ever make contact with your family after you’ve completed your estate plan); 
  • Capturing your memories, stories, values and family traditions so they are passed down to the next generations (most lawyers don’t think to do this either); and
  • A system for updating your plan at least every three years to make sure your plan stays up to date so as your life changes and the law changes, your plan works when you need it to (most lawyers treat their clients as a “one and done” transaction, never checking in again and letting your plan go stale).

What If I Didn’t Get a Refund This Year?

Now you may be thinking, bummer, I didn’t get a refund this year. Know these two things: 1) Estate planning is always a wise investment whether you get a refund or not; and 2) Our unique process called Life & Legacy Planning can help you get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, so that you make the very best decisions about the allocation of your resources for yourself and the people you love. 

Estate Planning: The Ultimate Expression of Love

Among all the ways to use your tax refund, estate planning with us ensures that your love and care for your family endure long after you’re gone. It’s an act of foresight that not only secures your family’s financial future but also leaves a legacy.

We will work with you to create a complete plan that is worth more to your loved ones than your tax refund will cover. To learn more about our Life & Legacy Planning process, and how we approach estate planning from a place of heart, schedule a complimentary 15-minute call with our office.  Contact us today to get started.

 

This article is a service of Ashley DeBoard, a Personal Family Lawyer® Firm. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session™, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. 

The content is sourced from Personal Family Lawyer® for use by Personal Family Lawyer® firms, a source believed to be providing accurate information. This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.