5 Estate Planning Tools
It’s amazing, but there are millions of Americans who do not have their estate plans in order. Some think that a simple will is an estate plan. That is not the case. If you have any amount of wealth (especially if you have a spouse and/or children), you really need to have each of the following estate planning tools. The center column is the average number of people out of ten who do not have each tool.
|Estate Planning Tool:||People WITHOUT||WHY YOU WANT THIS|
• The state decides who gets your assets at death
|Marital Trusts||5-6||In general, to save on estate expenses…
• maximize estate tax exemptions
|Irrevocable Life Insurance (ILIT)||7-8||Life insurance proceeds pass to the beneficiaries free of income tax and free of estate tax.|
|Durable Power of Attorney (DPA)||5-6||Legal powers allow someone to act on your behalf when you become incapacitated (to pay bills, remove money from IRAs, sell stocks, etc).
Medical powers allow someone to make decisions about your healthcare (such as make end-of-life decisions and whether life support should be continued or a feeding tube removed).
|Family Limited Partnership (FLP)||9-10||FLPs help to protect assets from creditors and to help reduce gift and estate taxes when transferring assets to family members.|
Many people know their estate plans are NOT in order but believe they are too busy and that they will get to their estate plan “when they have the time.” If you have been saying that to yourself, please act now to put an estate plan in order.
Estate planning itself is a very broad topic and cannot be covered in an introduction webpage. Therefore, we have listed a few of the more important topics that are typically not dealt with properly in most estate plans. We encourage you to click on the links below as well as the links in the estate planning drop-down menu at the top of the page. We are confident that this site will help you learn more about estate planning and we hope you will contact us to help put together a complete plan that covers not only your estate plan but also your asset protection plan and financial plan.