What is meaningful in your life? How do you want to be remembered? We often get responses such as – “a loving father, a caring mother, a dependable spouse, a reliable neighbor, a gracious philanthropist, or good friend.” As we focus on what is meaningful in our lives, we create memories each day that become part of the legacy we leave behind as people. The other part of the legacy we leave behind is “our stuff.” Both impact how we will ultimately be remembered. We’ve all heard the old saying; “you can’t take it with you!” This is where a well-constructed wealth (estate) plan comes into play.
This process involves asking questions to better understand your situation and objectives. We will also review all of your existing documents that are in place and help you better understand what they say and the true impact on your situation. If documents such as trusts, durable powers, medical directives or wills need to be added or updated, we will work with you and your other key advisors to get this accomplished. Depending on the size of your estate, we may discuss and review estate tax reduction techniques as well. Those conversations range from basic annual gifting to more advanced strategies such as Dynasty Trusts and Family Foundations. We help you get organized so you don’t unintentionally leave your loved ones with a mess that creates probate delays, opens your estate to public scrutiny, or a variety of other unintended consequences. At the very least, we want our clients to be remembered for being caring, thoughtful, and organized by having the appropriate estate documents in place and all asset titles, ownership, and beneficiary designations properly coordinated with the estate plan.
A Living Trust Primer
When Special Care Is Needed: The Special Needs Trust
Understanding the Alternate Valuation Date