A Financial plan is prepared so that the important goals & objectives of the family are achieved in a premeditated manner, through skillful & appropriate use of resources. In financial planning, the available resources over time is allocated to meet the goals, in the time frames needed.
We do plan for retirement as well and ensure that the retirement phase is well funded & one is able to live comfortably, have enough to spend on travel or other goals, is able to allocate and gift money for their children and grandchildren & pursue any philanthropic goals they may have.
While the financial plan takes care of the family's requirements during the lifetime of the person & spouse making the plan, complications can creep in when one of them passes away. In such a situation, the wealth gets passed on as per the laws applicable. The way the wealth gets passed on may be different from the wishes of the person whose wealth will get distributed. For instance, if the husband is no more, his intention may be that the entire estate goes to his spouse and after her lifetime to the children. Whereas, if Hindu Succession act applies to them, it would be passed on to his mother, wife & children in equal proportion. This was not intended by him, but will nevertheless happen.
"Trusts & Wills protect & ensure smooth transmission to the right beneficiaries"
To ensure that it happens as per his wishes, he will need to make a will. A will is a document that ensures that the wishes of the person are carried out after he is no more. A Trust can also help. A trust can be setup and can be made operational even during one's lifetime. But a Trust involves creating another entity and transferring assets into it ( and losing control over those assets ). Also, a trust is a separate entity and will have to file returns, be audited & will have to pay taxes as applicable. The trust formation and operation can be expensive. But the Trust also offers protection from creditors, ensures that money meant for a child or spouse cannot be accessed by anyone and remains for their benefit. A Trust can again be very useful for providing for special needs children, a spouse who may not be able to manage the financial affairs, a family which has multiple goals which one wants to ensure it happens etc.
You already know that we are fee-only financial planners and SEBI Registered Investment Advisers ( RIAs ). So, apart from being Certified Financial Planners, we also have appropriate qualification to advice on your Estate Planning needs. Two of us from Ladder7 are Chartered Trust & Estate Planners ( CTEP ). We are well positioned to advice you for achieving financial freedom during your lifetime and also ensuring smooth transmission to the intended beneficiaries, after the lifetime.
In a nutshell, you are dealing with advisors, who can help you during & beyond your lifetime!