Do you have questions about estate planning, protecting your assets with a trust, naming a beneficiary, or charitable giving to reduce your estate taxes?
Trusts can help ensure that your assets are put to work according to your wishes. They can also help reduce estate taxes.
Although trusts can be used in many ways for estate and financial planning, they are most commonly used to control assets and provide financial security for both the grantor and the beneficiaries; provide for beneficiaries who are minors or require expert assistance managing money; avoid estate or income taxes; provide expert management of estates; avoid probate expenses; maintain privacy; and protect real estate holdings or a business.
Contrary to what many people think, trusts are not reserved only for the wealthy. The truth is, people from all walks of life may benefit from a trust.
Contact Us to learn more about the following:
- What Is a Trust?
- Trust Categories
- Benefits of a Trust
- Flexibility to Meet Your Needs
- Consider the Csts
- Is a Trust Right for You?
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Is your estate plan up to date? We can use a checklist to pinpoint potential shortcomings. One of the first steps you’ll take in the estate planning process is determining how much planning you’ll need to undertake.
Because you’ve worked hard to create a secure and comfortable lifestyle for your family and loved ones, you’ll want to ensure that you have a sound financial plan that includes trust and estate planning. With some forethought, you may be able to minimize gift and estate taxes and preserve more of your assets for those you care about.
Remember, estate planning is very complex.
And while a simple will may adequately serve the estate planning needs of some people, you should meet with a qualified legal advisor to be sure you are developing a plan that is consistent with your objectives. In addition, be sure to recognize that estate planning is also an ongoing process that may require periodic review to ensure that plans are in concert with your changing goals. Because estate planning often entails many facets of your personal finances, it often involves the coordinated efforts of qualified legal, tax, insurance, and financial professionals.
Contact Us for an initial needs evaluation and our Estate Planning Checklist that you can bring to a qualified legal professional to discuss how to make your plan comprehensive and up to date.
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A major issue in estate planning is who to name as beneficiaries on life insurance policies, pension plan accounts, IRAs, and annuities. This important decision often doesn’t take into account the substantial estate and income tax consequences the beneficiary may incur.
So before you name a beneficiary, you may wish to gain a basic understanding of beneficiary designations.
One of the first things you need to know is that, in many cases, beneficiary designations supersede a will. That said, not only is naming a beneficiary important, but also it is equally important to make sure that your beneficiary arrangements are consistent with your other estate planning documents.
Not All Beneficiary Designations Are the Same
You can name a beneficiary for many different financial products and investment vehicles. And each has some subtle nuances that are sometimes difficult to discern. In addition, because naming a beneficiary is a legal arrangement, there is certain language you must use to ensure that your wishes are accurately recorded and executed. That’s why it is important to consult with a qualified financial professional when making decisions about beneficiaries. Aside from determining who you will name as your beneficiary, you’ll also need to consider the following:
- Age of beneficiary: Most policies and plans will not directly transfer assets to minors until a trustee or guardian is approved by a court.
- Ability of beneficiary to manage assets: Perhaps a trust set up in the person’s name would be better than a direct transfer.
- Pension plans: Unless waived by the spouse in writing, the law requires a spouse to be the primary beneficiary of the account.
Naming beneficiaries is a complex matter that requires a great deal of forethought to help ensure that your decisions are in concert with your financial and estate planning goals. A qualified financial professional can assist you in reviewing your beneficiary designations and help you make choices applicable to your situation.
Let us help you with making the right choices for your specific situation. Contact Us today!
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Naming Beneficiaries: What You Need to Know
Substantial gifts can result in gift taxes. Here’s how to give financial assets while reducing gift and estate taxes.
A special child in your life is about to reach a milestone: 13 years of age. You have no idea what’s “in” these days for kids in that age group. The latest computer simulation game? A hot-selling compact disc? Well, maybe, but which one?
In addition to the birthday dilemma, your friends are getting married soon, and you don’t have much time to shop for a gift. A check or cash can seem so impersonal; you’d rather give them something with meaning. What can you do?
Consider a gift offering years of potential: investments or assets that may increase in value over time.
Contact Us and let our experienced team share our advice with you on:
- A Gift for Children, a Tax Break for You
- Gifts for Adults
- Other Gift Options
- Other Considerations
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Estate planning can protect your family and provide flexibility
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