Intro to Estate Planning

Posted 06 Jun 2014 by Rick Irwin, CFP, CLU


As you journey through the various stages of life, considerable time and energy is spent building relationships and accumulating assets. Protecting these assets and passing on a legacy to your family, and avoiding unnecessary taxes and administrative delays, are all worthy goals but they do not happen on their own. This is where estate planning comes in. By its very nature, estate planning is a difficult subject to discuss, as it deals with sensitive issues like mortality and family, but it is an extremely important one. With regards to the estate planning process, we act as a "coach" for our clients, providing consultation in a number of areas, and drawing on the expertise of a select team of professionals to provide all of the elements of a proper estate plan.

The estate planning process covers the following areas:

Legal
  • Ensuring that wills are up-to-date
  • Establishing powers of attorney
Taxation
  • Minimizing Probate Fees
  • Structuring Investments for Long-Term Tax Efficiency
  • Tax minimization strategies to maximize the transfer of wealth between generations
Asset Protection
  • Safeguarding Investment Principals through Life Insurance
  • Ensuring the proper amount of life insurance is in place to replace an income stream to protect loved ones
Leaving a Legacy
  • Planning strategies to maximize the transfer of wealth to your heirs
  • Charitable Gifting strategies
Why you need an estate plan:
  • Proper planning keeps more of your money in the hands of your heirs
  • It will help to distribute your assets as you intended. Funds will be made available for funeral expenses as well as continuing family living costs
  • Minimizes income tax and probate fees
  • Designates charitable gifts
  • It can provide for income splitting opportunities with family members
  • Ensures business continuity for business owners
  • Identifies the people chosen to carry out your last wishes and to care for your minor children