Estate planning creates a master plan for the management
of your property during life and the distribution of
that property at death.
For most people, estate planning will:
- give you more control over your assets during your
- provide care when you are disabled, and
- allow for the transfer of wealth to whom you want,
when you want, at the lowest possible cost
Common estate planning issues addressed
in the wealth management process include:
- the transfer of wealth,
- the minimization of transfer taxes,
- asset protection, and
- charitable giving
Wealth transfer planning involves
the smooth transition and distribution of wealth according
to your wishes. With proper estate planning, you decide
to whom, how, and when your assets will be distributed,
as well as who will manage your estate or business.
Special issues you may deal with are providing financial
security for others, planning for children of a previous
marriage, equalizing inheritances fairly, and retiring
from your business. Wealth transfer planning also involves
the management of assets during disability or incapacity.
A major goal of estate planning is to minimize
potential taxes without interfering with your
other financial goals. If you give away wealth, during
life or at death, you may incur federal—and possibly
state—taxes. You can help protect the assets you
transfer from excessive depletion by understanding these
taxes and the various strategies you can use to minimize
If you own substantial assets, creditor protection
can be a concern. Creditors can come in many forms.
An asset protection plan first identifies
potential exposure and then identifies preventive tools
and strategies to reduce exposure. Asset protection
planning deals with ownership issues, liability insurance,
statutory protections, special needs trusts, offshore
and domestic trusts, prenuptial agreements, divorce,
and business dissolutions.
Charitable giving is motivated by
both personal and tax incentives. Congress encourages
charitable giving through tax legislation that can minimize
your income and estate taxes. Charitable planning involves
selecting the gifted property and charitable structure
that will target your needs.
Our process does not end with estate planning but coordinates
your estate plan with your overall plans for your business,
investments, insurance, and employee benefits.
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