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Whenever someone talks about the new “tax reform” program, people get excited about how this will eliminate their need for an estate plan…nothing could be further from the truth.

Even though 99% of people will not have to pay the current Estate Tax, it still doesn’t change the core components of a quality Multi-Generational Estate Strategy. Here are 5 non-tax reasons why you should set up and maintain an Estate Strategy …

  1. Control over your Family Situations – A well thought out and documented Multi-Generational Estate Strategy helps families plan for many unexpected situations that may occur in their lives and to significantly reduce their risks. For example, some of the areas that an Estate Strategy will allow you to be in control of would be…
    1. Children from a previous marriage need special language to ensure that they are taken care of the way you would like and not left up to the court to decide.
    2. Minor children need a “Guardianship Plan” so they have the guardians “you want” instead of those appointed by a court.
    3. Providing for a dependent that might have some special needs benefits from having specific plans put in place for their ongoing care.
    4. Allocation of assets should occur based on your wishes because you know your family and their situations better than any court system ever will.
  2. Who Gets What – There is no way to have your wishes met about the distribution of your assets without a properly constructed Estate Strategy…none! When left up to the court system, your assets get distributed the way others think would be “fair and equitable” rather than what your wishes are for each individual in your family. An Estate Strategy takes this into consideration during the development and gives you complete control over how your loved ones of this generation and future generations will be able to utilize your assets. The beauty is that you are in control of it at all times…not someone (or court) else.
  3. Unforeseen Medical Situations – When a medical situation (or emergency) occurs in your life, is there a plan for carrying out your wishes when you can’t speak for yourself? This is a critical component of your Estate Strategy because it gives others (through the Medical Power of Attorney) to speak your wishes when you can’t. Now you can rest easy that no matter what happens to you, what happens to you going forward will be your wishes, not someone else’s.
  4. Avoiding Probate at all costs – To many, this may be the most important aspect of any Estate Strategy. Probate is a public proceeding…this means anyone who wants to look can find out what you owned and left to your loved ones. Having an Estate Strategy maintains your privacy and protects you and your heirs from creditors and predators.
  5. When You Don’t Know What You Are Doing – There may be a time in your life when your memory or your cognitive and decision making abilities are impaired. When this happens, it is important for others to know your wishes and to be able to execute your desires. They can only do this if they have a well-defined and specific Estate Strategy in front of them. Having the proper Power of Attorney relationship set up gives someone of your choosing the power (and control) to execute your wishes when you can’t. This can happen at any time for a variety of reasons…but having an Estate Strategy gives everyone more peace of mind and lowers the risk of the improper execution of your wishes.

There are other areas that are also handled by a well thought out and designed Multi-Generational Estate Strategy but these are some of the most important attributes and benefits of having one in place. But the end results people see are…

  • Peace of Mind
  • Lower Risk
  • More positive family relations
  • Your wishes effectively carried out

As usual, if you have any questions, please visit our website as we talk about many of these issues on our site and on our blogs. But if you have something specific you would like to know, simply Ask Us a Question and we’ll give you some more specific insights and guidance.

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