Broker Check

Your Guide to Estate Planning & Wealth Transfers

Estate planning is a complex process, especially when you’re engaging in intergenerational wealth transfer and legacy planning. There are tax implications and legal considerations when you create a will or trust fund. You also want to avoid probate, if possible, to make life easier for your heirs. We’re here to help you with everything related to your estate plan. 

As financial advisors, we can help you understand the financial aspect of your estate plan. We work closely with your tax professionals and attorneys to devise the best plan for your situation. We consider it our job to ensure your wishes are met, which is why we take time to get to know you and your financial situation first before we create a customized estate plan that fits your needs.

What’s Included in Estate Planning?

Your estate plan is a comprehensive plan that determines what happens to your assets after you pass away. But it’s not just about the wealth transfer to your heirs. Your estate plan also includes all the documents your heirs may need if you’re incapacitated or unable to communicate.

Here are some examples of what an estate plan might include:

  • A will or trust
  • Directions on wealth transfers
  • Updated beneficiaries on all retirement and investment accounts
  • Investments and life insurance information
  • A living will
  • A financial and medical power of attorney

When you create an estate plan, we will help you remember all the details. We will recommend creating a living will and a power of attorney to ensure your family knows what your medical wishes are when you cannot communicate them. We also verify that you have updated your beneficiaries on your retirement and investment accounts. An up-to-date will or trust is also part of your estate plan.

<span style="font-weight: 400;" data-mce-style="font-weight: 400;">What Do I Need to Do to Transfer Wealth</span>

What Do I Need to Do to Transfer Wealth

To transfer your wealth to your heirs when you pass, you need a written legal document. It could be a will or a trust. Without a will or a trust, probate will decide who inherits your assets, and that may not be in your or your heirs’ best interest. 

The difference between a will and a trust is all about who has control of the asset. When someone inherits through a will, they own that asset. With a trust, you can decide how the assets are disbursed. Trusts are ideal when the dependents are too young to inherit large sums of money or if you have dependents who need lifelong financial support.

With a living trust, you can transfer wealth to your heirs while you’re still alive. You can also take advantage of gift tax exemptions to share your wealth while you’re alive. Finally, it’s important to understand that beneficiary designations for your retirement accounts supersede the will. That means they don’t go through probate and just pass on to the designated beneficiary.

FAQs about Estate Planning

What Is the Difference between a Will and a Trust?

A will gives your heirs immediate control over the assets they inherit. With a trust, you or the trustee can control the disbursements of funds. Trusts make sense if your dependents are very young, not responsible with money, or need lifelong financial support.

Which Documents Should Be Included in My Estate Plan?

Your estate plan should include a will or trust, information about your life insurance and investment accounts, financial and medical power of attorney, a living will, and any other directions for your heirs. You also want to keep your beneficiaries on your retirement accounts up to date.

How Can I Avoid Probate in Estate Planning?

Probate can be time-consuming, which is why it’s ideal to avoid it if possible. You can avoid or minimize probate by creating a trust or a will in your estate plan. You can also consider owning certain assets jointly with survivor benefit. Finally, your retirement accounts just pass on to your designated beneficiary without becoming part of your estate.

Do I Need a Will if I Already Have My Beneficiary Designations?

Yes. The beneficiary designations only decide who gets the assets in your retirement account. A will also determines who gets the house, the car, the yacht, and your personal belongings. You can also use a will to designate who will not inherit, preventing a legal battle for your heirs. 

When Do I Need to Create a Trust?

We recommend creating a trust if you have minor children or dependents who need long-term financial support even after you’re gone. You can also create a trust if you want to distribute money while you’re still alive. Contact us today to get started with setting up your trust.

Let’s Create Your Estate Plan

Don’t wait to create an estate plan. You’ve worked hard to create a legacy, and you don’t want your wealth to end up in the wrong hands. As your financial advisors, we can help you identify and achieve your goals through estate planning. We also work closely with your legal and tax professionals throughout the process. Contact our team at Dannah Investment Group to create and optimize your personal estate plan.

Have a Question?

Thank you!