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Tax Planning & Estate Planning

April 24, 2024


Author: Shea Law


When it comes to personal finances for families and individuals, April is the month most obviously associated with taxes. Filing your tax returns is a familiar, and not necessarily beloved, annual ritual.

But there is good news for many of those who dread the annual process of organizing their finances and doing their taxes: Tax time is also the ideal month to establish or review your estate plan. Far from adding more to your plate, taking care of estate planning in conjunction with your taxes is an ideal way to save yourself a lot of time in the near term—and to save your loved ones a lot of headaches, heartaches, and financial pain in the future.

For starters, the process of sorting and gathering documents and getting paperwork together for your tax return covers much of the same ground as if you started the estate planning process from square one. That head start is further boosted by the fact that you are already thinking critically about your finances and your future earnings, making any conversations you might have with a trusted estate planning attorney easier and more productive. In other words, don’t think of tax prep as a tiresome chore, but an opportunity to treat yourself and those you care about to the security and peace of mind that comes with knowing that your assets will be protected and distributed according to your wishes.

With your tax prep documents in hand, odds are you have everything you need to create a new estate plan (or modify an existing plan) except for an attorney who can sit down with you and discuss the best way to meet your needs. The best estate planning providers have flexible and convenient service options that include online and hybrid models, making the process even easier. For example, here at Shea Law, you can simply upload required documents to a secure portal and schedule a personal consultation one of our many estate planning experts. That consultation, a one-on-one conversation that can take place in-person or over the phone, is important to make sure your estate plan isn’t just a generic form, but a thoughtful and highly personalized plan.

At Shea Law, the decades of work that has gone into establishing our team as the estate planning law firm in Michigan is largely predicated on making that process as painless and seamless as possible for our clients. Estate planning can and should be accessible to all, giving every person and every family a way to affordably access the expertise and advice that will help them safeguard their legacy.

The process is so easy—and so convenient—that it makes sense to make an estate planning check-in a regular or semi-regular part of your tax season ritual. We believe strongly here at Shea Law that estate planning is a process, not an event. As our lives and families and financial circumstances evolve over time, it’s important to make sure our estate plans reflect those new realities and new priorities. Being able to talk to someone familiar with you and your plan can be an enormously comforting and valuable part of that process.

So, while you are still in the 2024 tax planning afterglow, it makes sense to address your estate plan now, and revisit it each year. Think of it as a way to turn the tax prep you have to do for Uncle Sam into something you want to do for yourself and those you love.

The information in this blog post is based on general legal and tax rules and is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal or tax advice. Readers should consult their own legal and tax advisors as to their specific legal or tax situation as it may require more complex analysis, or the consideration of other information.