Estate Planning

Building a Solid Estate Plan:

Where do I start?

Rock-solid Financial Team

This team is generally comprised of an experienced Estate Planning Attorney, a CPA/Accountant, and a Trusted Financial Advisor.

The Planning Process

The goal is to arrange for the proper and efficient distribution of the estate, so as to minimize taxes to the surviving spouse, children and family.

Anticipating and Fulfilling Dreams

The ultimate goal of the Estate Plan is to execute the wishes of the client with regard to benefiting his or her family, protecting their estate, and providing for philanthropic giving if desired.

Estate Planning Tools & Information

Estate Planning Terms:

Revocable:

The document or documents can be changed, altered, or canceled.

Irrevocable:

The documents cannot be changed, altered, or canceled.

Probate:

Probate is a legal document that appoints the executor (or personal representative, generally named in the will), as having legal power to dispose of the testator’s asset in the manner specified in the testator’s will.

Heirs:

In law, an heir is a person who is entitled to receive a share of the deceased person’s property.

Executor:

An executor is a person named or nominated by the testator, to carry out the directions of their will. The executor’s duties include: disbursing property, collecting/arranging for payment of debts, approving or disapproving creditor’s claims, verifying estate taxes, etc…

Trustee:

A trustee is any person who holds property, authority, or a position of trust or responsibility for the benefit of another.

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Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney:

A power of attorney (POA) is a written authorization to represent or act on another’s behalf in private or business affairs (the attorney-in-fact)..

Durable Power of Attorney:

When the grantor specifies that their power of attorney will continue even if the grantor dies or becomes “incapacitated,” (unable to grant such a power because of physical injury or mental illness).

Healthcare Power of Attorney:

A healthcare power of attorney gives the attorney-in-fact the authority to make health-care decisions for the grantor, up to and including terminating care and life support.

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Estate Planning Components:

Charitable Giving:

A charitable trust is an irrevocable trust established for charitable purposes, and allows for a more specific term than “charitable organization.” Charitable remainder trusts are irrevocable structures established by a donor to provide an income stream to the income beneficiary, while the public charity or private foundation receives the remainder value when the trust terminates.

Living Trust:

A trust is a relationship whereby property is held by one party for the benefit of another. The trustee holds the property for the beneficiaries of the trust, which can survive the owner’s death.

Crummy Trusts:

A trust for the benefit of individuals, into which gifts are made in a manner qualifying them for exclusion from the unified gift and estate tax.

Legacy or Dynasty Trusts:

A trust designed to avoid or minimize estate taxes being applied to great family wealth. Holding assets in trust and making well-defined distributions to each generation, enables the entire wealth of the trust to avoid estate taxes (also known as a generation-skipping trust).

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Business Planning:

Business Succession Planning:

Succession planning is a process for identifying and developing internal people with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the company.

Business Exit Planning:

When the owner of a business becomes incapacitated or passes away, it is often necessary to shut down an otherwise healthy business. In other instances, successors inherit a healthy business, which is forced into bankruptcy because of lack of available liquidity to pay inheritance and other taxes. Proper planning helps avoid many of the problems associated with succession and transfer of ownership.

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