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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

Making the Best Use of Home Equity in Retirement, Part II

January 16, 2022

In last week’s edition of Retirement Watch Weekly, I shared some tips on how to put your home to work for you before and during retirement. Today, we’ll complete the list… Another strategy to consider for your retirement plan – and it’s one that is often very misunderstood – is a reverse mortgage. Also known […]

The New Rules of Estate Planning

January 4, 2022

To read the Special Report, please click the PDF below. […]

Cashing in on Congress’ $350,000 Retirement Shocker

January 4, 2022

To read the Special Report, please click the PDF below. […]

7 Reasons to Consider Returning Life Insurance to Estate Plans

December 21, 2021

Life insurance used to be an essential element of most estate plans, but it hasn’t been for about 20 years. Important changes, however, make it time for many people to give serious thought to including life insurance in their plans. I n this article, I’m talking about permanent life insurance, not term life insurance. There’s […]

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Why You Need a Living Trust & How To Maximize its Benefits

December 12, 2021

Each year, I become more impressed by the importance of having a living trust as a key element of an estate plan and of properly setting up the trust. A living trust has two significant benefits. The first benefit is that assets owned by the trust avoid probate. Probate is a process under state law […]

How to Transfer More Than Money to Future Generations

November 27, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many people to re-assess their values and priorities. This accelerated a trend in which people wonder if there is something more than money and property they can leave when putting together their estate plans. You can leave more than money and property, and more and more people are adding this element […]

Maximize the Power of the Living Trust

November 27, 2021

Each year, I become more impressed by the importance of having a living trust as a key element of an estate plan and of properly setting up the trust. A living trust has two significant benefits. The first benefit is that assets owned by the trust avoid probate. Probate is a process under state law […]

Deciding to Let Uncle Sam Get His Share

October 31, 2021

Sometimes the traditional strategies to reduce estate taxes are not practical or appealing. It might be difficult to give away an asset in increments over the years to make tax-free gifts. Or you might want to retain control of your assets for life. There are a lot of reasons why someone might not want to […]

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