The Basics of Estate Planning

Richard Pascuzzi is one of the co-founders of PSE Wealth Management. In his position with the company Richard Pascuzzi oversees a team in charge of $175 million in assets and works with clients on topics ranging from debt restructuring to estate planning.

Estate planning can be a controversial topic, particularly among young individuals who feel that a will can be put off until a later date. The unfortunate truth is that the unexpected can occur at any time, and any individual with assets and a family should have their affairs in order. Planning an estate can be boiled down to four basic steps, though a financial advisor should be present during the actual drafting of any document. Estate planning begins with making a list of all current assets. In some cases the estate tax that is to be paid after death may be too much for family members to handle, and so an advisor can assist clients in finding options that will ease this burden.

Once a net worth is established and all assets have been identified, the individual can begin determining where the money and assets will go. Spouses who have not signed a pre-nuptial agreement or otherwise waived their rights are the only people who are guaranteed anything after death. In order to avoid family conflicts down the line, it is helpful to be as specific as possible in parceling out inheritance and physical assets. Charities and other organizations can also be included in a will, and individuals can control when and how payments are distributed. Finally, someone must be placed in charge of the will and testament. A family member can be placed in charge, though it would be preferable for a trusted third party with financial insight to have control.

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