A Refresher on Estate Planning Basics SHP Financial

Estate planning is a big deal. It’s a way for us to leave what we’ve built over the course of our lives to our loved ones. Gifts of property and belongings can pass on a sense of family, care, and love and can also help your loved ones financially.

So, what is the first and most important thing to do when it comes to estate planning? This may seem obvious, but the first thing is to do it. Plan out your estate. Think about who is getting what, and be specific about the details. Sure, there are plenty of other aspects to estate planning that matter, but if you have no plan at all and nothing set up, then none of those other things matter.

Another thing to consider, especially when it comes to your retirement accounts, is to ensure that you have the right beneficiary listed and that their name is spelled right. A simple mistake like spelling a name wrong can lead to a lot of problems when your estate is being handled. Additionally, it can be a good idea to have what is called a contingent beneficiary on your retirement accounts.[1] This alternate beneficiary will gain the funds in your accounts if your first listed beneficiary (usually you) is not able to receive them.[1] This allows you to pass on a retirement account seamlessly after your passing.

Another major concern when it comes to estate planning is taxes. Planning around taxes is a key part of anyone’s financial life. Tax mistakes can lead to the loss of more of your hard-earned money than you expected. One thing you can do to avoid some estate taxes is to give away some of your money before you pass away. The limit for tax-free gifts per year as of 2023 is $17,000.[2] This means that you can give any individual up to $17,000 per year as long as you don’t cross your lifetime gift tax amount, which is $12.92 million in 2023.[2] However, if you don’t give gifts while you’re alive, this tax-exempt limit doesn’t apply, and the full estate tax will be levied on whatever you leave to your heirs. If you are concerned about the amount of taxes that will be taken out of your estate, gifts can be a great way to mitigate some of those taxes.

Estate planning is a complicated affair. Even small mistakes can lead to big headaches for your loved ones. Retirement planning is no different. If you are looking for someone to help guide you through planning your retirement, Click HERE to reach out to one of our advisors today at SHP Financial for a complimentary review of your situation.


The content presented is for informational purposes only and is not intended as offering financial, tax, or legal advice, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Some of the informational content presented was prepared and provided by tMedia, LLC, while other content presented may be from outside sources believed to be providing accurate information. Regardless of source no representations or warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of any information presented is implied. tMedia, LLC is not affiliated with the Advisor, Advisor’s RIA, Broker-Dealer, or any state or SEC registered investment advisory firm. Before making any decisions you should consult a tax or legal professional to discuss your personal situation.Investment Advisory Services are offered through SHP Wealth Management LLC., an SEC registered investment advisor. Insurance sales are offered through SHP Financial, LLC. These are separate entities, Matthew Chapman Peck, CFP®, CIMA®, Derek Louis Gregoire, and Keith Winslow Ellis Jr. are independent licensed insurance agents, and Owners/Partners of an insurance agency, SHP Financial, LLC.. In addition, other supervised persons of SHP Wealth Management, LLC. are independent licensed insurance agents of SHP Financial, LLC. No statements made shall constitute tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own legal or tax professional before investing. Both SHP Wealth Management, LLC. and SHP Financial, LLC. will offer clients advice and/or products from each entity. No client is under any obligation to purchase any insurance product.
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