Recently, during a portfolio review, a client of ours realized that they had done nothing to plan for the responsible distribution of their assets upon their incapacity or demise. Understanding that these topics are difficult to discuss, we cannot emphasize enough how proper planning results in the eventual preservation of assets and minimization of taxes. We discussed various contingencies and a number of questions were posed that needed to be considered, such as:
- How are my assets currently titled and who is the beneficiary of my policies, annuities and retirement plans?
- Am I positioned to minimize State and Federal Estate Taxes?
- Are my beneficiaries mature enough to handle a lump sum distribution?
- Who will take care of my children and/or pets when I’m no longer here or able?
- Are there any charities and/or foundations I wish to endow?
- Do I have assets titled in more than one State?
These are just a sample of the questions that need to be addressed utilizing responsible legacy planning. For some, a Simple Will, Durable General Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care will suffice. This process, rather simple and cost effective, should be done by everyone, regardless of net worth. More advanced Estates do generally require more complex solutions such as Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts.
Our goal as a “Comprehensive Wealth Management” firm is to be a resource for our clients in all matters pertaining to their financial well-being. Please consider our guidance and experience when planning needs arise.