What is ICEA LION's Estate Planning?

Estate Planning is the process through which you put in place structures through which you can safeguard your hard-earned legacy in the unfortunate event of your incapacitation or demise. It helps you set clear instructions on what should happen to your assets as you intended. 

The primary goal for many estate plans is to protect and provide for loved ones and their future needs long after you, as the person owning the assets (grantor) has passed on. This way, your legacy is protected, preserved and passed on as you intended, to your nominated beneficiaries.

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The common misconception around Estate Planning is that it is for High Net Worth Individuals. In actual fact, everyone has assets to protect and pass on to their loves ones and the causes they believe in. Examples of funds, property and assets that can be can be covered under your Estate Plan include cash; savings in banks, SACCOs, investment groups; stocks; shares in companies; retirement and insurance benefits; land and houses amongst others.

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What Are The Benefits Of The ICEA LION Benefits of Estate Planning?

Peace of Mind

Enable you to have in place a plan to protect and preserve your legacy for your intended beneficiaries.

Choice of allocation to beneficiaries

Allow you to distribute your estate in the proportions of your choice to those you wish to reward or leave it to.

Preserve your wealth

This enables your future generations to prepare for the wealth they will receive.

Protect new ownership of assets

Allow you to detach or remove your name from your assets and put them into legally-protected vehicles, such as Trusts or Limited Liability Entities that not only help reduce transfer taxes but also mitigate against the risk of complicated individuals brewing conflict over your assets

Protect your beneficiaries

Secure your assets from predators who may divert your plans as intended for your beneficiaries in your absence.

Mitigate disputes

Help you prevent or reduce family or business partner disputes that arise when they begin to demand a share of your estate.

Appointed trusted asset administrators

Appoint trusted guardians in the case of minors who may not be able to manage your estate or even defend themselves in the event of a dispute for your estate – until they become willing and able to do so.

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The Difference between Trusts and Wills

The two most common instruments utilized in Estate Planning are Trusts and Wills. It’s worth noting that Trusts are considerably more difficult to contest than Wills, which makes them a good choice for people who are concerned about family disagreements over inheritance. 

When Is The Best Time To Set Up or Update An Estate Plan?

Anytime is a great time to set up or update an Estate Plan so long as there is something you would like to protect and preserve for future generations. However, it is best practice to set up or revise your estate plan, when circumstances that could impact your previous decisions change, even if just slightly. It is a good time to start or revisit your estate plans if:

    • You have recently welcomed children or grandchildren
    • You have or are planning to get married, divorced or remarried
    • You want to provide for loved ones with special needs
    • You have a significant business interest you need to be protected.
    • You want to control how your assets are distributed after your unfortunate incapacitation or demise
    • You want to maximize and protect the value of your estate
    • You have received an inheritance
    • You have acquired new assets
    • You want to change your designated helpers regarding your finances, health care, minor children and other vulnerable dependants or your private trust
    • In the unfortunate incapacitation or demise of a loved one is imminent

How Does Estate Planning Protect My Assets?

A key component of estate planning involves protecting your assets for heirs and your charitable legacy, by minimizing expenses and covering estate taxes while still meeting your financial goals.

Your Estate Plan should include specific strategies for transferring or disposing of unique assets like a family-owned business, real estate or investment property, shares in a business in which you have a significant stake, stock in a closely held business during your lifetime by way of joint ownership and so on. 

Estate planning is most effective when approached as a comprehensive process. Overall, the process of estate planning can be broken down into the following main steps:

  • Identify the assets you have acquired in your lifetime
  • Identify your beneficiaries including non-relatives
  • Identify how you want your assets to be distributed prior to or upon death or incapacitation
  • Identify who you want to administer your estate upon your death or incapacitation
  • Identify how and when you want your beneficiaries to receive their inheritance.
  • Look for options to reduce any potential estate tax liability

How Can ICEA LION Trust Company Help Me Plan My Estate?

At ICEA LION Trust Company, we focus on helping you effectively protect and preserve your assets throughout your lifetime and beyond. We work closely with other professionals to walk you through all the choices that you will need to make whilst creating a plan that works best work for you and your beneficiaries.

The process entails:

  • Consolidating Your Documents: your property titles, financial records, and taking inventory of assets being transferred to the Trust.
  • Appointment of Fiduciaries: This is the person/persons you will need to designate to act on your behalf and execute your estate plan in the event that you are unable to do so in future.  Such persons will play the role of executor of your will, trustee for your private trust, legal guardian of your dependants and/or personal representative or power of attorney if you became incapacitated. You need to be sure your fiduciaries are aware of and agree to their appointments, and that they know where to find your original estate planning documents. Fiduciaries can be family members, personal friends, or hired professionals such as bankers, attorneys or corporate trustees. ICEA LION Trust Company is also a Corporate Trustee. 

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