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Estate Planning

Yes, we’ve reached the uncomfortable part of financial planning. None of us looks forward to thinking about loss of life, being unable to make decisions for ourselves or care for those we love. However, as a widow, I know firsthand the benefits of having completed planning for both death and difficult lifetime decisions.

To begin with, an estate plan can…

  • Help transfer wealth according to your wishes.
  • Lessen conflict among family members.
  • Reduce wealth transfer taxes.
  • Maintain privacy.
  • Protect assets.
  • Provide ongoing management of your affairs if you no longer want or are unable to manage them.

It can also expedite estate settlement, minimize expenses, and realize philanthropic goals.

Ongoing Planning

It’s quite possible that you’ve addressed this “elephant in the room” already and if you have…good for you! Creating a plan is truly a gift to your loved ones. But what often gets overlooked is updating the plan due to changing laws, taxes, and family circumstances.

There are a few reasons why people don’t revisit their estate plans; some people think the process will be difficult and complex, or there is no harm in putting it off. Does this sound familiar? If so, you have plenty of company. And while estate planning does take time and effort, planning ahead and maintaining the plan takes less time, effort, and money than your survivors will spend dealing with a poorly planned estate.

Staying Current with Tax Laws

Many of us agree with current levels of government spending, tax rates are likely to rise; gift and estate tax exemption amounts to fall. That’s why I help my clients, working with their other advisors, ensure their assets are transferred to the people and charities they love, rather than consumed by taxes.

Keeping up to date with current tax laws as they affect your estate is not something you have time to do. Sure, it’s possible to accomplish both tax avoidance and protecting those you love, but it takes focus. Establishing or updating an estate plan now, and continuing to adjust it as needed throughout your lifetime, helps you prepare for the future and leave your legacy as you intend for those you love.

And that’s what we’ll do together.