Managing your wealth for today and tomorrow
Enhancing your long-term financial security and that of your loved ones requires careful planning. Not only do you want to determine what your needs are today, you also want to consider what you hope to accomplish with your wealth and the values you would like to pass along to future generations.
By establishing a comprehensive wealth transfer plan, you can control the careful management of your assets regardless of life’s uncertainties. A wealth transfer plan enables you to:
- Manage your assets more effectively during your lifetime
- Protect the financial interests of your spouse, children, siblings or life partners front from unforeseen risks and liabilities
- Significantly reduce taxes
- Create a lasting legacy in your community
Most people think of transferring their wealth after death via a will, but that’s only one aspect of wealth transfer. Wealth transfer encompasses three aspects of integrated wealth management:
- Estate planning
- Education planning
Relevant questions you need to answer to have an effective wealth transfer strategy:
1. When was the last time I reviewed my will with an estate planning attorney?
2. Alternatively, do I even have a will? (I know numerous people who don’t have a will, so if you don’t, then draft one)
3. Who are the executors, trustees, and beneficiaries in my will and are they still accurate?
4. Do I have successor executors and trustees in my will?
5. Are appropriate provisions in place for minor children, such as naming guardians?
6. Have I titled my assets to minimize the chance of being subject to probate after I die?
7. Have I titled my assets to minimize the effect of estate taxes upon my death?
8. Will I or my spouse be subject to estate tax upon death?
9. Are the beneficiary designations on my life insurance policies as I wish? Do I havesecondary beneficiaries on my life insurance policies?
10. Do I have a durable power of attorney, a living will, and a power of attorney for health care?
11. Do I need to buy permanent life insurance for liquidity purposes upon my death?
12. Do I need to start a gifting program during life to remove assets from my estate?
13. Am I giving to charity in the most income tax and estate tax efficient way?
14. Do I have provisions in my will to give my wealth to my favorite charities (for philanthropic reasons and for estate tax reasons)?
15. What types of trusts do I need to set up during life and after death for estate tax minimization, asset protection, and for appropriate distribution of my wealth?
16. What types of college funding vehicles are most tax efficient and how much do I need to save for my children’s education to meet their college funding requirements?
This is a good list of questions that you need to address to get your wealth management plan in order—from wealth protection to wealth enhancement and ultimately to wealth transfer.