No matter your net worth, an estate plan ensures that your family and financial goals are met after you die. An estate plan has several elements, and when putting together a plan, it is important to be mindful of both federal and state laws governing estates, as well as tax implications.
Estate planning can seem complex at first, but our compassionate, expert advisors can help you navigate the process with ease. We will work with you and your existing professional advisors to establish an estate plan that accomplishes all of your estate planning goals and protects your family from delay, cost, publicity and frustration that can result from a poorly planned estate.
We can help you create a personalized estate plan that ensures your affairs are in order and will effectively convey your final wishes. A well-designed estate plan may include one or all of these:
- A will
- A living will
- Testamentary trusts
- Revocable (Living) Trusts
- Special Needs Trusts
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Advance healthcare directives
- Structuring of gifts and annual giving programs
- Structuring family business arrangements
- Structuring digital asset documents
We can assist you and your family with the collection and valuation of all assets for inventory purposes and estate tax purposes. Examples of assets include real estate, securities, cash, life insurance, business assets and personal property. Having an accurate inventory provides the starting point for the preparation of required accountings for the estate.
In the estate settlement process, the Personal Representative or Executor of your estate is responsible for reviewing and paying all debts, expenses, legacies, and taxes on behalf of the estate. We can assist in completing this task to ensure the estate is properly administered.
Each transfer of property you make to another person (during your lifetime or after death) is subject to estate or gift tax. Assets you leave behind after your death (your estate) may be subject to an estate tax of 40% or more, and any transfer of property (gift) you make during your lifetime may be subject to a gift tax of up to 40%.
Without proper planning, it is likely you will pay the highest possible tax. We can help you create an estate plan that reduces your tax exposure and meets your needs. Additionally, we can ensure that upon death the necessary tax returns are prepared and filed on behalf of the decedent’s estate.
During the estate settlement process, the management of assets will still need to continue. Our expert advisors have the experience to help family, executors, or administrators look at the total picture of the estate and other factors to manage both probate and non-probate assets in a prudent manner. We work closely with families to meet legal and family requirements.
We can help you create a plan for asset distribution, including determining if creating a living trust is right for you. With a living trust, the assets held in your trust are managed by a trustee and distributed according to your directions without court supervision or involvement. This can be an excellent tool for effective asset distribution.
Contact us today to learn more about estate planning.