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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

How to Shelter Your Estate Plan from Disasters – The Importance of Estate Planning Forms, Documents and Insurance

May 5, 2020

It can happen to any of us… It doesn’t have to be a historic outbreak, hurricane, flood, or wildfire. You could be at risk from a broken water pipe, a tree falling on your home, or some other event. Bottom line: You don’t want short-term events to cause a permanent reduction in your financial security. […]

The Essential Estate Planning ‘Go Package’

April 28, 2020

An estate plan doesn’t do much good when key people don’t know about it or have access to key documents and information. Many times after someone passes away or falls ill, the family members go on a hunt for a will and other estate planning documents, or the contact information of an attorney who might […]

How to Update Your Estate Plan for the Pandemic

April 28, 2020

The novel coronavirus pandemic is causing a lot of problems, but there are actions you can take that will capitalize on the chaos or maximize the protection available to you and your family. The novel coronavirus pandemic spurred interest in estate plans. Many people realized their plans weren’t ready when the pandemic began. The foremost […]


The Dynasty Trust: How It Works

April 28, 2020

In last week’s edition of Retirement Watch Weekly, we discussed the advantages dynasty trusts can bring to your retirement and to the inheritance you leave your heirs. You can find last week’s issue here. Today, I’ll tell you the next steps to take after the trust is created. Once it’s created, there are many options […]

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estate plan

How To Set Up a “Dynasty Trust” for Your Estate Plan

April 21, 2020

Dynasty trusts have been a mainstay of estate planning for a long time. They are a standard way to ensure family wealth is preserved and grows through several generations. Avoiding taxes has been a strong incentive to create a dynasty trust since the beginning of estate and inheritance taxes. Given that background, it would be […]

estate planning

How To Craft the Perfect Last Will & Testament, Part 2

April 7, 2020

In last week’s edition of Retirement Watch Weekly, we discussed ways to construct a will to maximize the inheritance you pass on to your heirs. Part I can be found right here, and we’ll continue exploring this topic below. Know your Children & Anticipate Issues with Your Estate Naming the oldest adult child as executor […]

Estate Planning

How to Craft the Perfect Last Will and Testament for Your Estate Plan

March 31, 2020

It doesn’t take much to tarnish a gem of an estate plan, and with it your legacy. A misplaced word, missing clause, or miscommunication between lawyer and client can send your will and your ordered estate plan spinning into chaos. You can avoid such a fate. Follow these last will and testament guidelines, and you’ll […]

How to Maximize the Tax Benefits of Estate Planning Gifts

March 19, 2020

You need to plan on how to minimize taxes on lifetime gifts, even when the federal estate and gift tax isn’t a factor. Because of the $11.6 million lifetime federal and gift tax exemption, most people don’t have to worry about owing gift taxes on their lifetime giving. Most people also don’t need to make […]

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