Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Estate planning is the formal or informal practice of structuring an action plan to manage and maximize the value, usefulness, and liquidity of the assets owned by an individual, trust, or foundation in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate planning also involves controlling risk within tolerable limits through diversification, asset yield, and control of the liquidation time horizon. The planning also includes the bequest of assets to heirs and the settlement of estate taxes and other obligations. Most estate plans are set up with the help of an attorney experienced in estate law along with accountants, financial planners, and business valuation advisors.

The fundamental steps in estate planning involve writing a will and other end-of-life documents. Other major estate planning tasks include:

  1. Minimizing estate taxes by establishing trust accounts in the name of beneficiaries;
  2. Selecting a guardian for living dependents;
  3. Naming an executor of the estate to oversee the terms of the will;
  4. Creating and/or modifying beneficiaries on plans such as investments, life insurance, IRAs and 401(k)s;
  5. Making arrangements for funeral, burial, or cremation choices;
  6. Establishing annual gifting to qualified charitable and non-profit organizations to reduce the taxable estate; and
  7. Setting up durable power of attorney to direct the disposition of other assets and investments.

It should be noted that Steps 1, 4, 6, and 7 usually require the selection of a qualified business appraiser like VAVA Inc.

Estate planning at every step or level involves making conscious, informed decisions considering very personal choices in an environment of uncertainty and risk. Individual risk tolerance should always be considered based on market direction and volatility, political considerations, changing tax policy, personal health considerations, and a multitude of other controllable and uncontrollable factors.

VAVA Inc. is available to guide you through the estate planning process. Free consultations and referrals to other trusted Estate professionals are available. Call us today at 972-723-9500 or fill out our online contact form.

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