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The Estate Planning component in a comprehensive financial plan is critical to the overall success of an individual’s legacy they will leave behind. Quite often when we meet with new clients for an introductory meeting we discover there has been some level of basic planning that has been completed but typically it involves simple wills and health care directives that have been in place for a number of years without being updated or reviewed. There are also situations where there has been no estate planning completed outside of beneficiary designations. Whether it is for a lack of knowing who to reach out to for help or simply not having the time available to complete an estate plan, an overwhelming majority of people need guidance and professional help to make sure there is nothing left open for interpretation should the unexpected happen.
We work with a small group of allied professional estate planning attorneys who we work closely with to help with make sure your estate plan is in order. Based on the client’s needs and situation, we will provide an informal introduction to one or more attorneys to make sure you are comfortable working the attorney who is best suited for your particular needs.
The scope of work involved can be anywhere from simple wills, health care directives, or trust planning to more complex areas such as estate tax reduction strategies, business succession planning, charitable trust planning, special needs trusts and donor advised funds.
Regardless of the situation, we help take the lead role in making sure your estate plan completed or updated in a timely and fiscally responsible manner to provide you with peace of mind that your estate will be executed based on your intentions.
As a client of Financial Partners Group, we take the necessary steps to make sure all your beneficiary designations are completed, updated and consistent with your financial goals.
When was the last time you sat down to review your beneficiary designations for your retirement plan, non-retirement assets, life insurance and group benefits? If the answer is “never” or “Too long to recall” do not worry, you are not alone. This is one of the most overlooked areas in a financial plan. The lack of a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary designation can lead to the asset passing through probate where the court decides who will receive the proceeds. An outdated beneficiary that can often result from a divorce or death of a loved one previously established can also create multiple problems.
A good financial advisor is going to do more than pick your funds.
Tax reduction strategies fall into multiple categories to include “Tax Loss Harvesting” techniques to reduce and eliminate unnecessary taxes from the sale of securities and risk management estate preservation solutions for larger estates subject to death taxes. The important thing to know when working with or team of professionals is that we take the time to ask the important questions to find out as much as possible about your current situation, build a plan to address all of your tax planning concerns and help put your plan into action. Follow up is always a key component to a successful tax strategy and something we take very seriously.
During periodic reviews we will make sure your plan adjusts over time as tax laws change and take full advantage of known strategies that are available. Too often we see situations where clients are not taking full advantage of techniques that help reduce or even eliminate taxes from the sale of securities, transfer of property or an estate.