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Estate Planning

Estate planning is the final component of financial planning. Simply stated, an estate plan ensures that what you want to happen will happen at the time of your passing. However, because the subject of legacy is a complex and emotional topic, many families overlook planning before it is too late. Its function is to preserve accumulated wealth and to ensure its proper distribution. Estate planning is important to minimize paying significant taxes or legal costs. It also minimizes time and expense associated with the probate process.

A thorough estate plan will designate who will manager the affairs and assets in case of legal incapacity or death, ensure that assets are paid to desired heirs, appoint guardians for minors, and determine how and when heirs may use the assets left to them. Alvini and Associates, P.A. will also help you to change the plan as family circumstances and tax laws change.

Estate planning encompasses both non-tax and tax elements of the planning process. The common estate planning nontax related legal documents, which all clients need regardless of the size of their estate, include:

  1. Valid Will
  2. Letter of Last Instructions
  3. Durable Power of Attorney
  4. Living Will
  5. Health Care Durable Power of Attorney

The tax elements of the estate plan include other documents or data a client may have pertaining to their financial resources, obligations and personal situation, for example, deeds, insurance policies, assets, retirement plans, government benefits, etc.

Information regarding beneficiary designations and titling of assets is important to both the tax and non-tax components of the estate planning process. Tax-focused estate planning strategies will invariably utilize trusts and lifetime gifting strategies to minimize estate taxes.

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