Estate Planning

What We Can Do For You
  • Review primary and contingent beneficiaries for brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, trusts, among others
  • Assisting in will updates
  • Assist in reviewing powers of attorney, including medical
  • Analyze impact of trust strategies
  • Review asset exposure to probate
One overlooked aspect of financial planning is the estate planning process. Properly done, estate planning can minimize estate taxes owed, limit probate, and ensure an efficient and proper transfer of assets between generations. Overall, this can include updating wills, minimizing gift taxes, estate transfers, generation skipping taxes, among other important topics.
Beneficiaries
The first step in estate planning is establishing beneficiaries for your financial accounts. Beneficiaries designations are valuable in that they typically remove the assets from the probate process.
When choosing beneficiaries, it is possible to have your primary beneficiary in addition to what is known as a contingent beneficiary. This person would receive the ownership in the case the primary isn't able to take ownership or possession of the inherited assets.
Many life events can cause beneficiary designations to change, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of grandchildren, among others. We can help keep track of your beneficiaries and ensure these designations are up to date with your latest life events.
Wills
Wills are the most basic form of estate planning that most people are familiar with. A will guides the executor of the estate as to how the deceased's assets should be distributed through probate.
Most Americans haven't yet written a will. According to the senior care group at caring.com, a 2021 survey revealed only 44% of people over the age of 55 have estate planning documents. We can help guide you through the process of working with attorney to get a proper will written, in addition to ensuring that you keep it up to date with any major life events that occur.
Trusts
Trusts are an excellent estate planning tool that can limit the publicity of probate and help minimize the impact of gift and estate taxation. Additionally, in certain cases trusts are invaluable for limiting certain risks when leaving assets to potentially spendthrift heirs. These have become popular lately through trusteed IRAs.
We can assist in analyzing the impact of trusts in your financial planning process, and work with the appropriate legal help to you determine the best structure for your trust needs.