Estate Planning

What is my estate?

Many people believe that "estate" is a term applying only to wealthy individuals. However, most people have an estate, regardless of their financial position. “Estate” is simply a term that describes an individual’s personal and real property after they pass away.

If you have one or more of the following items, you have an estate:

  • car 
  • home or real estate
  • checking or savings account(s)
  • investment(s)
  • life insurance
  • furniture
  • personal possessions (including the computer or cell phone on which you are reading this) 

Basically, anything you consider yours goes into your estate when you pass away.

When you die, your possessions remain. Therefore, you must plan for what will happen to your estate once you pass away.

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is the planning (or road map) determining how your estate (i.e., your belongings) will be disbursed upon your death.

Though it’s a morbid thought, we will all pass away. That much is guaranteed. However, the possessions we leave behind do not die with us.


More specifically, estate planning determines:

  • whom you want to receive your personal belongings;
  • which belongings you want them to receive; and
  • when you want them to receive those belongings.

Tax Implications

In addition to the disbursement of your estate, it is important to consider the tax implications of that disbursement. Many types of taxes and exclusions may apply. To understand the tax and legal ramifications of your disbursement, you should navigate these tax implications with a Tax Attorney-CPA.

Do I need a Tax Attorney-CPA to do my estate planning?

Technically, a CPA can provide some estate planning services from a tax perspective. However, only a tax attorney can provide both the accounting and legal perspectives necessary to create the best estate plan.

Is it too early to start estate planning?

It is never too early to start estate planning. Most people never create a formal plan out of the gate; rather, a good estate plan starts when one considers the possibilities. Starting a dialogue with a Tax Attorney-CPA is a good way to begin thinking about the issues that lay ahead of you, so that you don't have to scramble all at once later in life. Unfortunately, as we said, death is guaranteed.