Estate Planning & Wealth Preservation
Estate Planning is an ongoing process and should be started as soon as one has any measurable asset base. As life progresses and goals shift, the estate plan should move to be in line with new goals. Lack of adequate estate planning can cause undue financial burdens to loved ones (estate taxes can run higher than 40%), so at the very least a will should be set up even if the taxable estate is not large.
Some of the major estae planning tasks include:
1) Creating a will
2) Limiting estate taxes by setting up trust accounts in the name of beneficiaries
3) Establishing a guardian for living dependants
4) Naming an executor of the estate to oversee the terms of the will
5) Creating/updating beneficiaries on plans such as life insurance, IRAs and 401(k)s
6) Setting up funeral arrangements
7) Establishing annual gifiting to reduce the taxable estate
8) Setting up durable power of attorney (POA) to direct other assets and investments
Wealth Preservation involves managing your assets in such a way to ensure that the value of your assets does not decrease or erode. With wealth preservation objectives, the notion of maintaining existing wealth is more important than making more money. Many issues come into paly with wealth preservation such as inflation, life insurance, retirement planning, long-term care, proper asset allocation and protection against capital market risk. Wealth preservation also involves estate planning strategies that help mitigate the effects of taxes, exit and succession strategies from businesses, and tax-advantaged investments that are intended to maximize income while minimizing tax burdens.