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:
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. […]
Fellow Investor, There are four basic strategies for reducing estate taxes: Reducing assets from the gross estate Removing future appreciation from the gross estate Increasing deductions Buying life insurance Within those four strategies are many options. Not all will be appropriate for you. But there are quite a few strategies – and it’s always good […]
Today, we’ll pick up where we left off last week, with more advice on making the most of your estate plan. Should Heirs Get Equal Shares of the Estate? Parents have several different reasons for considering leaving unequal shares of their estates to children. Some parents are tempted to leave a child less money because […]
Everyone needs an estate plan, no matter how much or how little money is involved. For example, you need an estate plan even if you don’t expect to owe taxes on the estate. It is more important to decide who should receive the wealth, how much each should receive and when and how the wealth […]
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Many people wish to save income taxes today, and create a stream of retirement income in the future. The FLIP trust, especially the FLIP-CRUT (charitable remainder unitrust), is a venerable way to accomplish both goals. The FLIP-CRUT strategy begins with a charitable remainder trust (CRT). An individual (known as the grantor) executes a trust agreement […]
Estate Planning advisors agree that one of the most underused estate planning strategies is the charitable remainder trust (CRT). That might change. New trends are making CRTs more attractive for estate planning. Taxpayers with appreciated property should take a fresh look at CRTs as part of their retirement and estate planning strategies. In a CRT, […]
The Inheritor’s Trust is dramatically under used as an estate planning strategy, which is remarkable considering its significant benefits. Estate planning usually is done one generation at a time. The oldest members, for example, decide how they want to disburse their assets among their children and perhaps their grandchildren. Their adult children do their own […]
The Inheritor’s Trust is dramatically under-used, which is remark-able considering its significant benefits. Estate planning usually is done by one generation at a time. The oldest members, for example, decide how they want to disburse their assets among their children and perhaps their grandchildren. Their adult children do their own estate plans, and those plans […]