The estate planning process involves a series of independent decisions that have consequences both during your lifetime and after your death. When considered in their entirety, these decisions help enable you to achieve your financial objectives with respect to assets that make up your estate. While each individual is unique, most people are concerned with the following issues when structuring an estate plan:
- Building and preserving assets while ensuring sufficiency of income during your lifetime
- Minimizing transfer taxes
- Ensuring liquidity for the estate and any survivors
- Being confident that the estate will be handled and assets distributed according to your wishes
The estate planning professionals with Contryman Associates, P.C., and Contryman Wealth Advisors utilize a team approach in developing an estate plan which may include the CPA/financial advisor; an attorney who specializes in estate, probate, and/or tax law; appraisers or valuation analysts; life insurance underwriters; and trust officers. This approach assures that you receive the full benefit of each professional’s knowledge and will keep everyone on your estate planning team informed.
Many people forget some of the assets that may be included in their estate. We can help you determine the value of your estate as defined by the IRS. While estate tax laws are constantly changing, there are a number of other considerations that we will address with you regarding your estate. Our professionals also actively assist in the administration process of estates and trusts at death.
An effective estate plan can assure that a trusted individual of your choosing has been designated to handle the financial affairs of your estate at your death or in the event of incapacity. An estate plan assures that assets will be distributed in the manner and with the time constraints that you select so that, for instance, children who are too young or immature to handle significant amounts of money or a business will not be given that responsibility until a time that you determine. An estate plan may also establish charitable intent, allowing you to determine amounts and recipients of gifts you wish to make.
- Discuss goals and objectives with a Contryman estate planning professional
- We can review current wills and trusts to determine if goals and objectives will be met
- You will be asked to gather financial data concerning assets and how they are titled, liabilities, expected inheritances, and anticipated obligations
- We can determine the potential value of your estate and project possible estate taxes
- We can help assess liquidity needs for your family obligations and taxes
- Our professionals can develop a comprehensive plan for distribution of assets upon your death, working with other professionals on your estate planning team
- We should plan to revisit the estate plan as circumstances change significantly, or at least every three to five years