Estate Planning

At Clay Northam Wealth Management we are often asked: “What is estate planning?” The answer is not necessarily a simple one. Estate planning is one of the most important and intricate areas of financial planning. It is essentially about how to pass property on after one’s death to their heirs with a minimum amount of hassle, expense and taxes owed. Estate planning services can anticipate the issue at hand, and prepare accordingly, thus eliminating uncertainties over the administration of a probate and maximizing the value of an estate by reducing taxes and other expenses.

Young or old, wealthy or not, estate planning can get very complex and the help of a financial planning or wealth management firm is highly advisable. To plan your estate properly can involve numerous documents and designations such as: wills, trusts, beneficiary designations, powers of appointment, property ownership (joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety), gifts, and powers of attorney, specifically the durable financial power of attorney and the durable medical power of attorney. Even specific final arrangements such as whether to be buried or cremated are also part of the final documents. Typically your financial advisor will work with an estate attorney to draft all the legal documents.

More sophisticated estate plans for the wealthy percentage of the population can involve other documents and entities such as charitable remainder trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, or irrevocable life insurance trusts. These trusts will reduce the taxable estate in different ways. To find out which might be the best for your specific situation, consult a financial planner.

Estate planning is a must if you want to make sure your assets are passed on exactly how you want them to be. Clay Northam Wealth Management can help assure that your assets are avoiding a messy probate and passing to your heirs or charities rather than the IRS. Serving all of Southern California, we have 2 convenient offices located in the Los Angeles and Orange County. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices to see how we can be of value to you.