Estate Planning

This information was written back when Andy and Kystal Whitten had their first child.  Some time has gone by since then, but the information is still important and applicable.  Brent

Estate Plans - Everyone should have them:

A couple weeks ago, in preparation for Pierce's arrival, Andy and Krystal updated their estate plans.  They had to name a "guardian" for Pierce and decide how their assets should be handled if something tragic were to happen to them at this stage of life.  While these conversations are not the most fun to have, they are extremely important.  As others have said, "the death rate still hovers around 100%." 

3 thoughts:

1 - Don't wait.  Sometimes it is hard to agree on the right guardian, trustee, or executor.  Sometimes there are other issues or events that you want to get through first.  Sometimes we just put off what seems unlikely to be needed soon.  Whatever the hurdles, push through and do it.  Even if you don't feel like you have the perfect people for the important positions or know exactly what you want to do, make the best decision you can for this stage of life and know that you can always change them down the road.

2 - If there is a church, school, cause, mission, or some other non-profit that you have invested in during your life through giving of time and resources, consider doing the same through your estate plans.  Instructing a financial gift through your estate plans can provide needed resources to the entity and be a great testimony to others at the same time.  As an additional benefit, most gifts to 501c3 charities are deductible for estate tax purposes.

3 - One of the most important steps in estate planning is coordinating the title / ownership and beneficiary designations on assets to ensure the planning is acted out.  For many assets, the title or beneficiary selected supersedes what the estate plans say, so thoroughly checking to see that they all align is extremely important.  For example, creating a trust, but not changing the ownership of assets to the name of the trust may require the probate process the trust was created to avoid.

While we encourage using an attorney to help design and create your estate plans, aligning accounts is something we at Taylor & Williams can help with first hand.  In addition, we are glad to keep a copy of your estate plans in our files so that if you ever need a document quickly, you have a resource to call.  If we can help you, give us a call.  We even have a couple attorneys that we have confidence in through dealings with other clients that we are happy to pass along the information on.

Feel free to pass this along to anyone you think would benefit.  If we can help anyone that you know with Investment Management or Financial Planning, we would love the opportunity.