Estate and Gift Planning

Some people have estate planning documents in place, while others don’t. Either way, there is a plan for your assets at death. It’s just that, in absence of your documents, the state’s plan takes effect. Therefore, to have a say in what happens to your assets at your death or you in the case of incapacity, you should create and execute the required documents.  Estate and gift planning is the best way to have your wishes known and carried out.

In Estate and Gift Planning:

  1. Know what documents everyone needs. For example, we should at least have a will, powers of attorney, advance medical directives and beneficiary forms.
  2. Understand the cost of probate in our state and how to avoid it. However, while the cost of probate is less of a factor in states like North Carolina, avoiding it makes it easier on those settling the estate.
  3. Consider whether a trust is needed. Then, determine the type of trust.
  4. Know what the different types of trusts do. In other words, there are many types of trusts available, if you have a special wishes in regard to how, when, etc. your assets are distributed.
  5. Evaluate what powers should be provided. Start with knowing what you knowing what you want to happen and know there are likely multiple ways of achieving it through increasing or restricting the powers of people named in roles in your estate documents.
  6. Recognize the importance of naming people you trust and are capable through this process to take care of things when/if you cannot. This includes financial and healthcare powers of attorneys, guardians for dependents, beneficiaries, etc.
  7. Understand the taxation and income planning opportunities and impacts. With more complex and/or larger estates the use of trusts and other tools can be helpful.

Plenteous Financial Wellness Wheel

Plenteous Financial Wellness Wheel

Understand what the wheel is all about and explore the spokes to identify the planning gaps you need to fill.