Estate Planning in Birmingham, AL
As an estate planning CPA firm, we know all too well that death and taxes are two of the few constants in this world. Knowing this, though, means plans can be made in advance for those after you. Sovereign CPA can help individuals and business owners make a plan for life after them. Give us a call or visit our office to begin the planning process!
What Is Estate Planning?
Simply put, it’s the process of planning how assets will be distributed after someone passes away. Your estate is everything you own, from $5 in a bank account to a $500 million dollar company.
For most people, their estate is made up of a variety of things: checking/saving accounts, vehicles, stocks/bonds, household items, and more. You don’t need to have a mansion to have an estate, just personal capital of some kind. Million of people use this to determine who gets certain assets from the deceased, instead of the state distributing it based on intestacy laws.
How Planning Your Estate Benefits Your Family
As stated above, by planning your estate, you have control over how your assets are distributed. Many people use this if they know certain family members would benefit from certain assets. Conversely, it can also be used to keep certain people from receiving part of the estate.
Estate planning also allows for putting someone in charge of distributing assets. Since that period of life is normally very stressful, having someone in place to handle the estate can ease confusion and heartache. Fighting over an estate can exacerbate the struggle of surviving family and friends.
The estate plan can even include expressions of values and ethics, being conveyed by the person in charge of the estate. That way, both assets and invaluable personality traits can be passed down.
When You Should Consider Planning Your Estate
Contrary to popular belief, you can begin planning your estate at any time in life, not just in the later years. We encourage people of all ages to have a plan for their estate, in the event that the unexpected happens. Those with businesses and large estates will especially need to craft a plan since big assets can be subject to heavy taxes and intestacy laws without clear direction.
The best time to create an estate plan is any time; when you’re ready to start, our CPAs will be ready to help.
What Our Services Entail
Estate planning begins by simply listing every asset you are in possession of, like real estate, vehicles, jewelry, stocks, and more. After all assets are accounted for, we then consider who should receive each asset. Finally, we determine who you trust to carry out your plan and to care for you medically and financially if needed.
The keys to a complete estate plan include:
- Will – Identifies who gets assets, an executor, and guardian (if applicable)
- Power of attorney – Identifies who makes financial/business decisions if needed
- Medical power of attorney – Identifies who will make medical decisions if needed
- Living will – Stipulates preferences for end-of-life care
- Trust – Stipulates how assets are distributed, lessens or eliminates estate taxes
- Personal documents – Includes any sentimental documents to be left behind for surviving family
Overlooking any of the above factors can lead to precarious situations late in life, which may put a burden on you and those caring for you. Our services ensure that all of these factors are accounted for. That way, you can be sure that there are clear directions for your estate and end-of-life care.
Once a plan is set, we can help you revisit your plan periodically. We help make updates or changes, or can simply answer questions you may have after the plan is complete. We understand that planning your estate can be stressful, so we support our clients through the process to make planning easier.
Who We Can Help
Our team can help anyone without an estate plan. Life is full of unknowns, so we often stress that it is better to have a plan than to not have one. Too often, people are unprepared for this time in life which can be a burden on those they leave behind. A clear, comprehensive estate plan can alleviate some of these stressors and maximize the impact of your assets for beneficiaries. All age groups, employment types, and levels of estate are welcome to use our services and cultivate peace of mind for late-life affairs.
Choosing Sovereign CPA, Today!
For decades, our team has helped clients with an emphasis on our ethics, values, and focus on expertise. We believe that estate planning, like our other services, need a foundation of trust, integrity, and accountability to be successful. With every client, we place great importance on those values to create long-lasting, successful relationships. When you work with our firm, you can be assured that you’ll receive the best financial services we can provide.