Estate Planning

The first step of estate planning is to help you plan for — and realize — your lifetime goals. It addresses your legal and financial concerns, taking into account your goals and tax considerations. It also takes advantage of existing laws and funding vehicles to help save on taxes and help manage your property in an efficient and profitable way during your lifetime.

Estate Planning Overview

Are you ready for estate planning?

The size of your estate will determine the extent of your need to plan for the future payment of estate taxes.

Why it matters

Current law provides for unified federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax laws and the tax exemptions of $10,000,000 per person.

The bottom line

Because there is no tax on assets inherited by a surviving spouse, the estate tax exemption amount only works for assets that do not pass to a husband or wife. Therefore, many estate plans commonly transfer the maximum exemption amount in a “bypass” trust that benefits the children or family.

 


Talking about Estate Planning

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Talk to your parents about estate planning

A dialogue that seeks to clarify whether your aging loved ones have the documents in place to protect their personal and financial affairs is not only appropriate, but prudent.

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Wills and the basics of estate planning

Writing a will is the most basic step in estate planning, regardless of the size of your assets and the extent of your property.

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What to do when a loved one passes?

As you tend to the tasks required, from planning the funeral to closing their accounts, it helps to stay organized, delegate where possible, and create a schedule for what needs to be done when.

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You’re an executor…now what?

Being trusted with handling a loved one’s estate is an honor. It’s also a taxing job at the best of times, mentally and, often, emotionally as well.

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Are you liable for your parent’s nursing home bills?

You helped your aging parents find a long-term care facility that would meet their needs and budget, and made every effort to provide for their comfort, but financing their expenses was never part of the deal. Or was it?

 


Setting Up Your Estate

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How can I save for estate planning if I become too sick or injured to work?

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Budgeting

Some people use a budget as a general guideline, while others track everything down to the penny. There’s no one right way to manage your money. What’s most important is you’re comfortable with your strategy.

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Estate planning: 6 big mistakes you might be making

Estate planning can provide peace of mind, ensuring that your assets, interests, and loved ones will be protected after you die, but it is also fertile ground for some costly mistakes.

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Insurance

Consider Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is a permanent policy, which gives you guaranteed protection for your loved ones that lasts a lifetime.

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Funeral costs and considerations

Costs vary based on whether the funeral includes a burial or a cremation and what additional services are added.

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Probate: What it is, why people fear it

When it comes to administering a descendant’s estate, there is a legal process called probate that oversees the settlement and distribution of the assets.

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Estate planning for LGBTQ couples

Proper estate planning is vital for anyone who wishes to protect his or her assets and loved ones, but experts say it’s potentially more vital for same-sex couples and families, due in part to the passage of marriage equality laws. 

 


Continuing Your Legacy

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Wealth planning before retirement: Key concepts

With a lifetime worth of savings at stake, it’s critical that retirement savers put plans in place to protect their assets, interests and future legacy.

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Using life insurance for charity

With planning and forethought, life insurance can also be used to benefit a favorite charitable cause. 

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Estate planning for high net worth households

While every household is unique, and different tools are appropriate for different goals, a few key estate planning strategies can help protect your family and maximize the amount of money you may be able to leave behind.

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Investment

Consider Advisory & Trust Services

With proper wealth planning, you can accomplish a wide range of objectives such as leaving a legacy for the next generation or supplementing your retirement income.

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How to make sure your heirs won’t fight

If there’s any joy to be found in writing a will, it’s in thinking about how your heirs will benefit from any investments, real estate, family heirlooms and other possessions you leave them.

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Succession planning for your business

Eventually, you will either give up the helm  of your business voluntarily before or when you retire, or involuntarily as the result of an unexpected event. 

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7 situations where a trust might help

Trusts serve far more varied purposes than many people realize, and they aren’t just for the wealthy.

 


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