Estate planning

It’s important to put a plan in place to protect your loved ones and make it easier for them in case something happens to you.

Now is a good time to figure out what you want to achieve. Minimizing taxes is an important goal for many, but you should consider maintaining control of assets and disclosing final wishes as well. A coordinated effort between qualified legal, tax, insurance and financial professionals can create a smooth process.

Think about these important estate planning considerations:

Tip 1

Identify your priorities

  • Do you have a will?
  • Have you documented your wishes in the event of a catastrophic illness or disability?
  • Have you considered whether a trust is appropriate?
  • If you have a trust, do you need to transfer your assets to the trust?

Tip 2

Protect your family

  • Does your estate plan name a guardian for your children if both you and your spouse pass away?
  • Are you sure that you have the right amount and insurance type for survivor income, loan repayment, capital needs and all estate settlement expenses?
  • Have you considered tax implications for your loved ones and your estate?

Tip 3

Review your taxes

  • Are both your estate plan and your spouse’s plan (if applicable) designed to capitalize on any available tax advantages?
  • Have you reviewed your ability to gift assets?
  • Have you considered a charitable trust?

Tip 4

Protect your business

  • If you own a business, do you have a management succession plan?
  • Have you explored a buy-sell agreement for your family-owned business interests?

This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal or tax advice.