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Estate Planning                                                                   Estate Planning Guide

Protecting Your Estate and Your Family

Although two-thirds of affluent individuals have some kind of estate conservation program, only 11 percent of these programs are current (less than two years old) and nearly 40 percent are six to 10 years old dangerously out-of-date by experts' standards.

Many people have worked hard to accumulate assets for their family's welfare and consider taking care of their heirs a top priority. By periodically reviewing your estate conservation strategy, you can help ensure that your assets are protected and passed to your heirs as you intend.
Here are a few questions to consider when reviewing your current strategy.

  • When was the last time you looked at your will? If it's been a while or you can't remember, it may be time to review your will and determine whether any changes are needed. Perhaps you have had a change in your marital situation or new grandchildren whom you would like to include.
  • Have you established a trust? If structured properly, a trust can be a valuable tool to help protect assets and provide funds for final expenses, estate taxes, or other administrative costs. A trust may also help reduce the amount of estate taxes due.
  • Have you funded your trust? A common mistake in estate conservation is setting up a trust and then failing to transfer assets into it. By moving the desired assets into your trust, you can avoid this costly mistake.
  • Did you name an appropriate trustee? Is your trustee someone you trust to manage your assets and make sound financial decisions that will affect your family? You might want to consider a professional trustee, such as a bank or trust company, that can provide stability and impartiality to this role.

estate planning time-line

The use of trusts involves a complex web of tax rules and regulations. You should consider the counsel of an experienced estate conservation professional before implementing such strategies.

Considering these questions might help ensure that your family and estate are protected. Call today if you want help in evaluating your estate preservation strategy.