We offer estate planning services not only to wealthy clients, but to all clients who are concerned about those these leave behind.
A wise man once said: “There are two types of people – those who leave a legacy and those who leave problems”. Which one of those are you?
You’ve worked hard to accumulate your assets. Let us work with you to ensure that your estate has been structured in order to minimize taxes and maximize benefits for your heirs and beneficiaries.
Why should you be thinking about estate planning now? For one simple reason: putting prudent preservation strategies into practice can help to preserve the assets that you now have, as well as those that will accumulate during your lifetime. Good strategies can allow you to pass your assets on to your loved ones according to your wishes, rather than according to the inheritance and tax laws of the government.
For some people, that's reason enough to start planning now. But consider this—one of the greatest advantages of estate planning is the avoidance of conflict among family members. When you plan for how your assets will be distributed, you eliminate arguments over "who gets what." Add to that the fact that you may also reduce estate expenses, while shortening delays in debt payments and asset distribution, and it's easy to see why incorporating estate planning strategies into your financial plan makes good sense.
Pass on as much as you can
Only the wealthy need estate planning, right? No. The truth is that much of what you think will be passed on to your family may not actually reach them. Because of certain laws and taxes, your estate could be severely depleted, leaving less for your family and designated beneficiaries.
If you take advantage of estate planning strategies from us, you can plan ahead and preserve more of your assets for your survivors.
Estate planning processes
The estate planning process is different for every individual. Not everyone is in the same life stage, nor do they have the same objectives and income needs throughout life. As individuals grow older, their goals may change, but at any stage in life, most individuals want to:
- manage risk
- accumulate assets
- minimize the impact of taxes
- treat heirs equally
- and preserve assets with their estate plan
To accomplish these objectives, an estate plan will help you establish and clarify goals and objectives, identify and quantify needs, and identify and quantify resources.
Techniques of estate planning
Once you are familiar with the concepts behind estate planning, you still need to construct an effective and personal plan for your own estate. The techniques commonly used in estate planning are wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney and gifting. An effective estate plan will implement these various strategies in a way that will help you satisfy your needs and accomplish your goals. We work with your accountants and lawyer, or we can refer to competent ones we have worked with, in order to help you implement strategies to achieve your wishes.
The role of Life insurance
Choosing the right policy to achieve your estate planning goals is important. Life insurance proceeds can be used to pay estate or inheritance taxes, preserving your assets for your heirs.
Policies can be purchased on a single life or on two lives. A single life policy insures one person and the face amount is paid out at that person's death. A second-to-die or joint life policy insures two people and the face amount is paid out at the second death. In either case, for mere pennies on the dollar, you can pay an annual standby charge to ensure the funds are delivered exactly when they are needed – when your estate faces taxes.