Planning for the future of your loved ones is more complicated today than ever. Estate planning requires you to make critical decisions today as you try to foresee your family's future.
Here are some situations where our Trust and Estate Planning specialists have helped our clients prepare for the future:
- Blended families
- Children or family members with special long-term care needs
- Families with concerns about how an inheritance might be handled by the recipients
- Families who own a business
- Families where the inheritance contains investments, real estate and/or insurance
Reducing Estate Taxes
Reducing federal estate and gift taxes is one of the main reasons for estate planning. Generally, the amount of your estate tax liability is directly tied to the size of your estate so that the greater the value of the estate, the greater the potential liability. Federal estate tax rates can be as high as 35% under new law. And, in addition to the federal tax, some states impose a state inheritance or estate tax. Proper planning can help reduce estate taxes.
Do I need an estate plan?
To develop an effective estate plan you must first determine your objectives. This decision is, of course, very personal. Most people plan for their spouse, children and close relatives first. They might also want to establish a legacy at their alma mater or with a favorite charity.
Questions to consider in estate planning may include:
- Is your will more than five years old?
- Has the executor in your will died or moved away?
- Have you married or remarried or had a child?
- Have you purchased additional life insurance coverage?
- Do you have substantial assets in joint names?
- Do you have assets that have significantly appreciated in value?
- Is there a charity for which you would like to provide?
- Do you own a closely held business?
- Do you have an existing trust?
- Have you or your spouse inherited valuable property?
These questions by no means represent the only events that trigger the need to review or create an estate plan. But, these examples highlight the fact that most any family or financial change can impact an estate plan.
To learn more about our estate planning services, please call 1-800-624-4116.