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.
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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Enable you to have in place a plan to protect and preserve your legacy for your intended beneficiaries.
Allow you to distribute your estate in the proportions of your choice to those you wish to reward or leave it to.
This enables your future generations to prepare for the wealth they will receive.
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
Secure your assets from predators who may divert your plans as intended for your beneficiaries in your absence.
Help you prevent or reduce family or business partner disputes that arise when they begin to demand a share of your estate.
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 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.
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:
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:
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:
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