Those who work as financial professionals deal with clients’ estate planning issues every day. When advising clients, some have a tendency to focus heavily on tax issues—including income, estate and generation-skipping taxes.
While tax planning is a big part of estate planning, taxes aren’t necessarily the first question on a client’s mind upon beginning the process. This is especially true for those who are entering upon an estate planning journey for the first time.
The answers to one or more of these questions may have a greater impact on the ultimate plan than tax considerations:
- Why do I need to prepare a will or trust at all?
- Can’t I just have joint owners and/or beneficiaries on all my assets?
- Do I need a living trust?
- What is probate, and why should I avoid it?
- Explain about trustees and executors.
- How can I protect my young children?
- How can I protect my special needs relative?
- How can I provide for my parents’ needs?
- How can I take care of a non-family member?
- How do we arrange our affairs to adequately protect all sides of our blended family?
- Can I tape names on all my valuable household items to indicate to whom they should go when I’m gone?
- What non-death documents should I have in my estate planning package?
- Does it make more sense for me to give my assets away?
- How can I keep peace in the family after I’m gone?
Our clients expect us to be able to have answers to their non-tax estate planning questions.
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