Protect Your Heirs from the Probate Process
For Mark Roberts’ Use: Like most people, you might have given some thought to what will happen to your assets after your death. You have signed beneficiary forms and told close family members which possession you would like for them to inherit. However, even if everyone heeds your requests, your estate will be subject to lengthy court proceedings unless you take steps now to prevent the probate process.
The purpose of probate court is to settle disputes over your estate (if they exist) and to distribute your assets according to your final wishes. The process can last from about nine months to two years, assuming your estate is not unusually complex or subject to unusual amounts of disagreement. Any assets you leave to your heirs, including cash and property, will not be distributed to them until the court proceedings are finished. They might incur court and attorney fees in the meantime, making the probate process a stressful and expensive ordeal.
Another downside to the probate process is that the affairs of your estate will be publicly recorded. A simple check of court records will disclose how much money each of your heirs inherited. In some cases public records can be used for nefarious reasons, leaving your loved ones little privacy and even subject to con artists who seek to take advantage of them.
The good news is that your estate does not have to be processed through the probate process, if you establish a trust ahead of your death. A trust allows you to pass your estate directly to your heirs, bypassing the time and expense of court proceedings.
Since trusts can be subject to complex tax rules, and can incur administrative fees, you should seek the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney along with a financial advisor. For more information on the benefits of a trust, or financial planning advice in general, call our office to schedule an appointment.
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In addition to managing clients’ money and giving investment and diversification advice, Mark offers something that “the other guys” don’t - a unique approach to Retirement Tax Strategies and distribution. Time and time again, Mark meets with new clients who tell him they have a great relationship with their financial advisor but have never been offered information on this kind of approach to securing their financial futures. Mark has taken this feedback to heart and works tirelessly to ensure that his strategies focus on taxes and distribution.
Mark started selling insurance for a major insurance company right out of high school to help put himself through college. After graduating with a degree in finance, he dove into estate planning on the financial side to set himself apart from other financial advisors. However, as changes were made to estate tax laws over time, Mark shifted his focus to income tax strategies.
Mark’s philosophy is “the blue prints are more important than the wall paper or carpet.” The wall paper and carpet represent products like investments and insurance policies, whereas the blue prints represent the strategies. Once strategies that truly fit the client’s needs are put in place, our focus can shift to providing you with the right products. According to Mark, “It doesn’t matter what carpet we use if the walls are not in the right place.”
Our approach to money management is designed to generate the largest alpha (quality) with the lowest standard deviation and beta (risk). By doing this, we help provide clients with the highest return on the lowest risk. Generating income for our retirees is also very important. Because withdrawing money from your portfolio hurts the account rather than helping it, our goal is to design income strategies to harm the portfolio the least making the money last longer.
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