Estate Planning Summary

Estate Planning Summary

Who We Are

We are a group of highly trained and experienced individuals with experience and education covering an array of fields who work to design an estate plan for you.

What is Estate Planning

Estate planning means many different things to many different people. To some it may mean a simple will while to others it may encompass some or all of the following:

  1. An interviews trust (commonly called a living trust)
  2. A charitable trusts (such as a charitable lead trust or a charitable remainder trust)
  3. A special needs trust to care for a loved one with disabilities
  4. Planning for lifetime gifting
  5. Lifetime income tax planning especially for a large bonus
  6. A medical power of attorney
  7. A general durable power of attorney
  8. An advanced medical directive (commonly called a living will)
  9. Business succession planning
  10. A family limited partnership
  11. An IDGT (Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust)
  12. A SCIN (Self Canceling Installment Note)
  13. A GRIT (Grantor Retained Income Trust), a GRUT (Grantor Retained UniTrust), a GRAT (Grantor Retained Annuity Trust)
  14. A QPRT (Qualified Personal Residence Trust)
  15. and on infinitum it seems.

Definition

A good working definition is as follows: Estate planning may be defined as giving what we have to whom we wish, how and when we wish–with dignity, efficiency and privacy-and with the least possible expense, delay, and tax impact.

Goals

The goals of estate planning are as varied as the our wishes, hopes, and concerns for our family and loved ones.

Approaches

Approaches to estate planning may be categorized in three ways:

  1. Do nothing, we refer to this as the “Ostrich approach” the results are almost never what was desired.
  2. Penny wise and pound foolish. This is frequently seen in the self-help books and now the “You can prepare your own Will” software. The results are seldom satisfactory. I’m always reminded of a client I had 30 years ago when I was just starting out and worked for a tax preparation company. The client was a journeyman plumber who asked me why he should pay me to prepare his taxes when he could just get a book and do it himself. My answer was “You may be able to, but I do this day in and day out just like you put in gas lines for new houses (his job at the time) day in and day out; who do you want installing the gas lines in your house, me who has never done it before but has a book about it or someone like yourself who has done it for years, passed tests as to competency, obtained certifications and licenses, and knows intimately all of the possible problems that may occur which probably aren’t even mentioned in that book?” The state laws governing inheritance, trusts, powers of attorney, etc. are very complicated and constantly changing. The federal tax laws are even more intricate. There are income tax, gift tax, generation skipping transfer taxes, and estate taxes issues, all of which are complex and constantly changing due to legislative action as well as court decisions. The Plumber chose to have me prepare his taxes rather than risk having his taxes “blow up” if he prepared them.
  3. Comprehensive estate planning with team of professionals. That’s us. We have the experience to design an estate plan that does what you want to happen then we work with a local attorney to implement the plan for you.

We have the knowledge and the skill to develop an extensive estate plan for you. We will design several plans with an explanation of how each plan works along with the tax and the financial impact each plan will have on you and your heirs.

 

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