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Estate Planning

Estate Planning is the process of determining how your wealth and assets should be transferred to the heirs of your choice: your children, grandchildren, friends, families, charitable causes, etc. and then deciding which legal tools and structures to use to best meet your estate planning goals.

Estate planning is not simply reducing or eliminating taxes and avoiding probate.  Only after establishing how you want your estate’s assets to be distributed should you consider ways to reduce taxes and avoid probate. From there, good estate plans deal with a host of other issues. Now, with all but a few estates exempt from the federal estate tax, those other issues are, or should be, at the forefront of estate planning.

An estate plan is to ensure that you are taken care of the rest of your life and that your wealth is transferred to the people you want to have it. A good estate plan ensures these goals are accomplished with as much efficiency and as little cost as possible. An estate plan addresses the management and distribution of an individual’s property and financial obligations after he or she dies with financial tools such as wills, revocable living trusts and power of attorney.

For a comprehensive overview of Estate Planning, please start with our article:

 

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Estate Planning

Get To Know These 6 ‘Hidden’ Estate Planning Opportunities

January 29, 2023

Opportunities to increase family after-tax wealth arise throughout the year… Yet all too often go unnoticed. Estate planning should be viewed as more than an obligation to be undertaken as infrequently as possible. It is a continuing exercise that’s rife with the potential to protect assets, reduce income taxes, simplify personal finances and more. The […]

Your 20-Minute Estate Plan: Building a Lasting Legacy

January 12, 2023

Estate planning should be a key part of your financial planning. Unfortunately most planning experts shroud the topic in complex tax, legal, and insurance jargon that will disinterest most people. I’ve put together this report to provide you with simple, practical explanations that will help determine the right elements of your estate plan. To learn more, click the PDF below. […]

How to Insure Your Way to a Rock-Solid Retirement

January 12, 2023

The insurance decisions during and near retirement are some of the most important and complicated in your lifetime.  Click the PDF below to discover a few simple ways to protect your assets and reduce your costs in all areas of insurance. […]

estate plannig

The 6 Most Common Ways Retirement Plans Fall Apart

December 25, 2022

It doesn’t take much to send a solid retirement plan off the rails. Fortunately, the likely causes of retirement failures are well-known and often avoidable. Here are the six most common reasons retirement plans fall short of their goals: 1. Helping too much People often dip too far into their retirement funds to help loved […]

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What you don’t know about retirement can hurt you. In fact, just a few wrong decisions in your investments, taxes, or estate planning could completely derail your retirement plans. Worse yet, the rules of the game keep changing, making it harder to keep up. For these reasons, I’ve assembled all the key points – everything you need to know — into one comprehensive report. Click here today for free access.

Estate Tax

How To Maximize the Tax Benefits of Estate Planning Gifts

October 30, 2022

Today’s high estate and gift tax exemptions could be slashed in a few years. Maximize those and other benefits now. The substantial increases in estate and gift taxes that were widely discussed in 2021 appear to be off the table, at least for now. But the current lifetime estate and gift tax exemption is scheduled […]

Another Way Congress Is Making It Harder for Retirees

June 6, 2022

Congress is making it more and more difficult to deduct charitable contributions. So it’s good to know the latest rules… so the IRS won’t be able to deny tax breaks for your charitable donations. The increase in the standard deduction – in the 2017 tax law – means you have to give more to receive […]

estate planning

The Estate Plan Questions Your Spouse & Children Must Be Able To Answer

May 18, 2022

Most estate plan failures aren’t due to flaws in the documents or the strategies. A high percentage of plans fall short of their goals, and it’s often because the people implementing them didn’t have all the information they needed. You see, an estate plan covers more than the property you leave to others. It covers […]

estate planning

How To Create Your ‘Digital Estate Plan’

April 17, 2022

In last week’s edition of Retirement Watch Weekly, I explained why your estate plan should include digital assets. In part 2, below, I share some pro tips on how to go digital in your plan. A surprise to many people is they don’t own most of the books, music, movies and more that were “purchased” […]

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