Change can come in all shapes and sizes, it can be negative or positive, can be refreshing or even draining at times. But as they say, change is the only constant and with everything changing around us, planning, and more especially Estate Planning, has become extremely crucial. The current pandemic has taught us that there is no certainty about tomorrow and having an Estate Plan in place gives you the peace you need to enjoy today without having to worry about tomorrow. Raghvendra Nath, Managing Director of Ladderup Wealth Management, explains the meaning, importance, process, services, and more attached to Estate Planning:-
Estate Planning: Importance
At the very outset, Raghvendra Nath, says, “At a time when health and financial security is of topmost priority, many are looking at Estate Planning to make sure the future of their loved ones is not at stake. Although Estate Planning is one of the most crucial aspects of financial planning, it was also the most overlooked, however, last year’s data shows that “Drafting a Will” has been one of the most searched for topics on Google. Though the good news is that at least people are thinking about Will creation, it is pertinent to understand that not only it is important to make a Will it is equally wise that the Will that you create is free from ambiguity, is legally compliant and is thus perfect for execution when you are not around.”
Estate Planning: Then vs now
“In the past, a self-made Estate Plan could have worked, considering that everyone used to live in joint families and had limited investments either in the form of savings account or fixed deposits. However, in this digital era that we are living in, it is not prudent for a person to make their own Estate Plan and it is highly advisable to seek the help of a professional,” he added.
“The trends and our attitude with regards to our family structure, investments, etc. are no longer what they used to be. Our loved ones are working and residing in different parts of the world. With the dawn of the digital age and increase in awareness, there is a variety of investments that an individual has in present times. Though you may have the awareness and expertise to manage your wealth, you must think about your loved ones who may or may not be as capable as you when it comes to tracing, identifying, transferring, and managing the wealth which, in turn, may result in loss of your hard- earned money, especially when the Estate Plan made by you was not good enough,” he explained.
Estate Planning: What you need to know
Raghvendra Nath suggests, “While making a Will works in most of the cases, a private family trust is the most advisable Estate Planning tool to have if you have a minor child or a child with special needs. A private family trust is a sophisticated method of Estate Planning. A private family trust can be created to make sure the health, education, maintenance, financial, and other such needs of your child are taken care of, and a proper guardian is appointed who will take care of the child based on the guidelines you would have left behind. An experienced professional will help in creating a well-devised Estate Plan to make sure that each and every requirement of the child is taken care of, thereby assuring you that your child will face no difficulty even in your absence.”
Estate Planning: Need of a professional?
“A professional will understand your requirements, make appropriate suggestions, and then create a tailor-made Estate Plan as per your needs. There is no better feeling in the world than knowing that you have created an estate plan for your loved ones and having it done through a professional will you give the assurance that your Estate Plan has been done in the right manner. Thus, having an Estate Plan done by a professional is of paramount importance since a professional will make sure that your Estate Planning is done in a comprehensive, and holistic way thereby leaving no room for any ambiguity or concern while taking care of all sorts of contingency,” he opined.
“The only thing we all need to understand is the way no two people are same, their requirements cannot be same and hence, their estate plans also can never be the same. Using a random template available on a website can be seriously flawed and may lead to more harm than doing good for your family and your wealth. It is thus, important that you save your loved ones from all the hassles that they may have to go through due to a badly worded document because let’s not forget, a badly drafted or ambiguously phrased Estate Plan, is as bad as – not having one at all,” he concluded.