Having a proper transfer strategy in place can mean the difference between a smooth transition of wealth to beneficiaries and financial disaster. Protecting your assets from excessive taxation, avoiding or minimizing family dissent, and leaving a legacy for generations to come are all issues that should be settled now.
Working with a team of trust attorneys, CPAs, and other estate planning specialists, we will guide you through the common pitfalls and challenges that are too often faced when wealth is passed on. Many clients choose options that will ensure a steady income stream to beneficiaries, decisions that may help avoid the squandering or rapid depletion of assets for those in need. We will help you design the right plan for your unique situation.
Ask yourself these questions as you begin developing a new estate plan or updating your current plan. In addition, it’s always a good idea to contact your tax advisor and personal attorney, and speak with your Financial Advisor.
• Do you have a will? If so, when was it last updated?
• Do you have an estate plan? If so, when was it last reviewed?
• What assets will be available to pay your estate settlement costs?
• What steps have you taken to minimize the impact of probate?
• Does your will name a guardian for your minor children?
• Are you comfortable with the executor(s) and trustee(s) you have selected?
• Do you have the right amount and type of life insurance?
• Have you considered a living trust to avoid probate?
• If you have a living trust, have you titled your assets in the name of the trust?
• Do you have a living will or durable power of attorney in case of catastrophic illness or disability?
• What arrangements have you made for your potential long-term care needs?
• Are you taking full advantage of marital deductions?
• Have you used an irrevocable life insurance trust to exclude insurance proceeds from being taxed as part of your estate?
• Are you taking advantage of the $13,000 ($26,000 if married and gift splitting) annual gift tax exclusion to minimize future estate costs?
• Have you considered a charitable remainder trust to provide income to your beneficiaries for a specified period, after which the
remaining principal would eventually pass to charity?
• Have you considered a 529 plan to help reduce your taxable estate and provide tax advantaged educational benefits to your