Benefits of Planning
Controlled estate planning will systematically uncover problems and gaps in your estate and provide solutions. For example, you can plan against:
- Excessive transfer costs: The improper plan or group of documents might cause too much tax, payable too soon.
- Lack of liquidity: Or not enough cash to pay taxes and other predictable expenses could result in the forced sale of your liquid assets or other income producing property. This is an especially critical factor for owners of closely held businesses or investment real estate.
- Improper disposition of assets: This could result in the estate being disposed of in equal but inequitable shares among your children, even if their needs vary greatly. It may also be an improper disposition of assets to leave two or three hundred thousand dollars in life insurance to a 21-year-old child or to a spouse – without the benefit of a trust arrangements to prioritize for proper investment – or to preclude wild spending.
- Inadequate income if disability occurs: Electing the maximum benefits from your employer-sponsored plans, and filling in the gaps with personal disability coverage and insurance waivers of premium.
- Inadequate income for your family at your death: To maintain your standard of living, the family will typically need 80 percent of your present gross income. This must be adjusted periodically for inflation, additional debts incurred, education funding needs and special family circumstances.
How to Proceed
Consult with a professional financial advisor to check all your insurance. review your will and trust, making sure these documents will do what you want them to do in the most effective manner.
Inform your heirs, before they become heirs, where your personal and financial documents are located – especially a durable power of attorney. If you are married, measure your needs annually, establish your priorities, and then develop and put into effect plans to make sure that your financial future is sound.
It is not necessary to cancel and entirely redraw your legal instrument. A will can be modified by a codicil (amendment), and some forms of trust agreements are also subject to alteration. Of course, your attorney will be familiar with the correct procedures.
Neither Lion Street Financial, LLC, nor its registered representatives, offer tax or legal advice. Federal tax laws are complex and subject to change. As with all matters of a tax or legal nature, you should consult with your tax or legal counsel for advice.
Pursuant to requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding penalties imposed under the United States Internal Revenue Code or promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any tax-related matter. Please contact us if you wish to have formal written advice on this matter.