In today’s world relationships are complicated – with second marriages or children from previous relationships things can get even more complicated. In either situation, a legal agreement can assist you as a couple in clearly outlining your wishes and which assets are considered separate property.
What happens to all of the wealth you have accumulated after you pass away? That is Estate Planning—making a plan ahead of time to decide who will benefit from all you accumulated during your life. This concept has recently been highlighted by the passing of a music icon. Ms. Aretha Franklin passed away without having a will or a trust in place, meaning her estate and its beneficiaries will be decided through the public probate process. This can be lengthy and costly to an estate.
Assets, Liabilities, Income and expenses – analyzing what we have financially effectively and honestly can be a confusing task but integral in order to assess where a person is financially and their ability to accomplish their financial goals. Planning properly requires more than black and white numbers on a page – understanding how these numbers relate to and impact your Financial Plan. This is an often overlooked portion of building a sound Financial Plan by many people but is a huge part of the data gathering process done by Financial Planning Professionals and an insightful financial advisor can utilize details found in both to assist them in helping you reach your goals.
Defining one's goals in the Financial Planning process is an integral part of creating a basis for analysis of current financial conditions and how they relate to future plans of action to be developed and implemented. It is critical for goals to be realistic, but more importantly specific and measurable. A Financial Planner can assist you in asking the central questions and guiding you toward how to think about and accomplish your goals. One would develop and recommend actionable steps that can allow you to both prioritize and achieve your goals. Goals can be either short-term or long-term in nature but understanding their role in the overall planning process is important so that you don't mismanage your assets along the way.