Broker Check

Estate Planning

Your estate plan should culminate the sum total of your life desires, but communicating those desires in your estate planning documents can be a daunting task. As your financial situation or family dynamics grow more complex, estate planning decisions become harder. In determining what’s best for your family we must consider who receives what, in what form, and what will be the result once your estate is distributed. How would you respond to the following questions?

  • Do your executor, trustee, and children’s guardian have the same value system as you and your spouse?
  • Do you have a will? Has it been updated in the last five years?
  • Do your current documents specify the amount you will want your children to receive? Can they handle the form and amount of assets they will be receiving? Should your assets be distributed equally to your children or should an individual's special need, lifestyle or character be considered?
  • Would you like to give more to charitable organizations? Could estate planning techniques allow you to give more?
  • Have you held a family conference to discuss estate planning issues with your children?
  • Have you developed a business succession plan? Are you taking advantage of currently available estate planning techniques to minimize your potential capital gains and estate tax associated with the transfer of your business?

These are important questions. In conjunction with your accountant, attorney and insurance agent we want to assist you by providing insight to the personal financial and tax consequences to their recommendations.

Family Financial Services can serve as a very effective intermediary between you and your other advisors. We will help make sure that the estate planning desires you have expressed are addressed and that the proposed solutions are understandable to you. You will probably not execute a plan that you do not understand.  

Finally, each professional you select as part of your estate planning team should be able to demonstrate how their part in the planning process helps pursue your desires.

Your estate planning team (attorney, accountant, insurance representative or tax specialist) are most likely NOT a planners. It is vitally important that you employ a financial professional, who is by nature an organizer and by training a planner, to coordinate the efforts of your estate planning team.