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Understanding Your Estate Planning Goals

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Understanding Your Estate Planning Goals

Estate planning is providing for the care of your minor children and/or special needs beneficiaries while giving what you want to whom you want at the least cost possible while avoiding estate taxes and planning for incapacity. In determining the type of estate planning, you must first understand your goals. If your goal is to…

  • avoid probate, then you must have a trust and/or file a transfer on death deed for your real property and complete your beneficiary designations.
  • transfer your homestead without incurring the fees of a trust, then you must do a Transfer on Death Deed (TODD).
  • avoid estate taxes, then a trust(s) must be created and/or gifting must be done.
  • choose who raises your minor children in the event of your death creating a guardianship within a will must be used.
  • sell a low-basis asset without paying capital gains, benefit a charity, and have an income stream during your lifetime, then a charitable remainder or charitable lead trust must be created.
  • provide assets for the benefit of a disabled person, then a supplemental needs trust must be created.
  • keep the cabin in your family, the best way is possibly through the creation of a family trust.
  • avoid the surviving spouse from disinheriting your children from a previous relationship, then you must create what is commonly referred to as a QTIP trust.
  • protect assets from a medical assistance lien and avoid improper uncompensated transfers, you must do the planning now (if possible).
  • avoid your family going to court for a costly conservatorship or guardianship proceeding, you must have a health care directive and a power of attorney.
  • keep your business operating upon your death and incapacity, then you must make certain that your power of attorney and corporate documents are aligned.
  • reward your key employee with your business, then you must determine your business succession plan.
  • have your business sold and the funds from the sale provided to your spouse, then you must plan now for that potential sale so that the business is saleable upon your death for its maximum value.
  • avoid confusion about who runs your business upon your death, then your corporate documents must be aligned (the power of attorney is void upon your death).
  • allow real property to be sold upon your death, then you cannot specifically bequeath real property in your estate planning documents.

Spangler and de Stefano, PLLP assists business owners and individuals with their estate planning and business succession planning.

The material contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between Spangler and de Stefano, PLLP and the reader. The information contained herein is not offered as legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.