Estate Planning Council Offers Free Seminar Oct. 20

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More than half of Americans, an estimated 56 percent, do not have an estate plan in place, making estate planning a critically overlooked component of financial wellness. This creates hardship, financial or otherwise, that can be avoided by planning.

The Estate Planning Council of the Emerald Coast, Inc. (EPCEC) invites the public to join them on Thursday, Oct. 20, 1- 5:30 p.m. at The Island, Fort Walton Beach, for the Fifth Annual Estate Planning Day.

No matter how large or how modest, nearly everyone has an estate, but all too often individuals, couples, and families put off estate planning. People put off estate planning because they think they do not own enough, they are not old enough, it will be costly or confusing, they will have plenty of time to do it later, they do not know where to begin or who can help them, or they just do not want to think about it. Then when something happens to them, their families have to pick up the pieces.

This free event will host a panel of local professionals on topics of interest regarding estate planning. Complimentary snacks and refreshments will be provided to all attendees and the day will culminate with a cocktail reception at The Island lobby bar. RSVP is strongly encouraged. You can register for the free event at: www.estateplanningday.eventbrite.com.
Estate planning encompasses the growth, conservation, and transfer of an individual’s wealth through the creation and maintenance of an “estate plan.” The purpose of estate planning is to develop a strategy that will maintain the financial security of individuals through their lifetime and ensure the intended transfer of their property and assets at death, while taking into consideration the unique circumstances of the family and the potential costs of different methods.

“Working in this industry for more than 10 years, I have seen the importance of having a proper estate plan in place,” says James Wright of Carr Riggs & Ingram, and president of EPCEC.” I have seen the relief in family member’s eyes when their loved ones had their affairs in order and I have also witnessed the agony and frustration of people when their loved ones did not have their affairs in order.” “The purpose of Estate Planning Day is to bring awareness to everyone, no matter the person’s age, profession or income level, the importance of having their affairs in order so they do not leave their loved ones frustrated and in agony.”

To support and encourage the future of estate planning, the EPCEC founded the Kevin Helmich Restricted Scholarship, which awards $1,500 to Northwest Florida State College students majoring in accounting, finance, or pre-law. The EPCEC has chosen to name this scholarship in memory of Kevin Helmich who, until his untimely death, was an active member and past president of the organization. Kevin was a well-regarded estate planner, a trusted adviser to his clients, and a mentor to others in his firm.

The Estate Planning Council of the Emerald Coast, Inc. (EPCEC) is the professional “organization of choice” for multi-disciplinary estate planning professionals from across Florida’s Emerald Coast. Members include accomplished Estate and Elder Law Attorneys, CPAs, Financial Advisors, Insurance Consultants and Trust Officers. The EPCEC is an affiliated council of the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, the leading professional organization for estate planners, which provides its 2,000 Accredited Estate Planner® designees, and 275 affiliated local estate planning councils and their 30,000 members with ongoing education and a forum for professional networking. National Estate Planning Awareness Week was adopted in 2008 to help consumers understand estate planning and its need, along with how best to create a qualified team of professionals to assist in the planning process. For additional information visit www.emeraldcoastestate.org.