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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Many people believe estate planning is mostly about money, especially taxes. A good estate plan is much more. Estate planning and retirement planning sometimes require us to consider questions that make us uncomfortable. But if we don’t consider those questions now, there’s a high probability our future well-being and that of our family will be […]
In last week’s edition of Retirement Watch Weekly, we re-examined some factors and tools of estate planning that were altered by the new estate tax regime. Today, we’ll complete the list… […]
Find out about our latest recommendations, and all of the most recent market-moving news, in the newest issue of Retirement Watch that has just been completed. I invite you to download the issue as soon as you have a chance. As a valued subscriber, we want you to have this information as quickly as possible. […]
Because of the still relatively new estate tax regime, some factors and tools of estate planning need to be looked at differently than before. Here’s the first area we’ll review… Life insurance. Traditionally the main reason to buy permanent life insurance was to help pay for estate taxes. The number of people with that need […]
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Celebrities and the very wealthy frequently make headlines with Estate Planning problems that provide important lessons for the rest of us. Their lifestyles might be different, but the rich and famous deal with as many estate planning issues as the rest of us. Here are some celebrities whose estates made headlines and what you can […]
Central banks might have to be very creative to maintain economic growth in the next few years. Global markets jumped Tuesday after European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi indicated more monetary stimulus was likely on the way. Only a few months ago, the ECB president was talking about ending the bank’s asset purchase program […]
The post-mortem activities involving baseball great Ted Williams spotlight an Estate Planning issue that rarely is discussed: Who has the final say on the funeral and burial arrangements? Most of you will recall that after Ted Williams passed away, his son apparently had the body flown to a firm in Arizona, where the body was […]
In order to learn what’s been happening in the economy and what investors expect to happen in the future, conduct a survey of recent returns for different investments. Let’s start with bonds, which do well when inflation is either low or falling and when economic growth is declining. Long-term treasury bonds rose 12.42% in the […]