Leaves ablaze with bright colors, the sweet smell of fresh apple cider in the air, a crisp breeze blowing... it’s the end of October. Across the country, families are hanging decorations, carving pumpkins, and preparing for their favorite autumn celebration. Halloween, certainly for most, but at Safely Deposit we are excited for something a little different: National Estate Planning Awareness Week 2019.
National Estate Planning Awareness Week may not have the spooky costumes and sugary candy of Halloween (unless you have candy corn in your last will and testament), but the history of estate planning traces back equally far if not earlier. Historically, society treated the disposal of an estate as a social custom, but records referencing the concept of a “will” date back as far as ancient Greece. Today, many countries legally regulate the transfer of property with formal judicial and legislative processes. In the United States, the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (NAEPC) assisted U.S. Representative Mike Thompson and 49 supporting members of Congress in drafting and passing House Resolution 1499 in September 2008. This resolution designates the third week of October as a time to specifically help the U.S. public better understand the importance of estate planning.
In estate planning, individuals anticipate and arrange for the management and disposal of an estate in addition to other personal or family matters. Estate plans may include considerations for charitable gifts, value maximization, generation skipping transfer, income tax, and more. Some plans might also create arrangements for personal incapacity or other uncertainties, like guardianship and custodianship. Estate planning overlaps to some degree with personal finances, financial planning, elder law, family organization, and legal devices, like wills, trusts, and advance directives.
ESTATE PLANNING BASICS
At Safely Deposit, we are doing our part for National Estate Planning Awareness Week 2019 by posting a series about estate planning basics like the topics mentioned above. We are neither attorneys nor financial planners and we cannot offer advice, but we can help you better understand core concepts and key terms with which you may not be familiar. Whether you already have an entire plan or whether you are just starting your will, reading our series can help you understand how to best prepare or refresh a plan for your own unique situation. Follow our posts to learn why you should have an estate plan, how to get in touch with an estate planning professional, what goes into estate planning, and considerations for protecting your legacy for loved ones and beneficiaries.
Do you already have an estate plan? Great! Do you need some place to store copies of your key planning documents? Safely Deposit is a modern workspace designed to help you organize, store, and share your most important documents, including estate plans. Sign up for a free trial today to get started or check out our plans to learn more about Safely Deposit.