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June 2011
From The Director

Greetings,

The recent change of seasons brings to mind the natural cycle of life, from birth to the passing of generation after generation. Perhaps appropriately, this month's article discusses the often overlooked, yet highly important issue of estate planning to help you understand how you can provide financial security for your loved ones well into the future.

As always, we welcome your feedback. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact your financial advisor. Should you not currently have an advisor at Select, please reply to this email and one of our senior consultants will contact you promptly.

Best Regards,

Imants Katlaps
Managing Director

Article

". . . but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

  -Benjamin Franklin, 1789

It seems that the word 'estate' is a source of confusion for many people.  Estate does not mean a large property, nor does it mean something that is of enormous value.  Estates are not something possessed solely by the wealthy.  Just about everyone has an estate, from the individual with assets galore to the young girl who received a nice piece of jewelry for her 16th birthday.  To be sure, if you possess anything of value that you would pass on to someone else after your death, you have an estate.  
 
The laws concerning the distribution of one's estate after their death vary from country to country.  For example, in Japan and France, as well as in most Muslim countries, a portion of an estate is subject to forced heirship.  This means that a share of the deceased's assets is automatically bequeathed to his or her dependents, despite what his or her wishes may be.
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