What Could Estate Planning Accomplish? – Finger Financial Five #132

“Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.” – Lao Tzu

What could estate planning accomplish?

  • Avoid Probate– via joint ownership or trust. Avoiding probate avoids the public eye where creditors or long-lost family members may try to make claims against your estate.
  • Asset Protection– This can be done Pre-death by Irrevocable Trust and/or LLC. Post-Death through avoiding probate. 
  • Title Property correctly to ease property transfer and tax efficiently. I have seen instances where someone would want to add their child to a property they have held for many years. This may ease transfer but they may lose many tax advantages of stepped-up cost basis
  • Bank accounts– set up Payable on Death (POD), usually used with bank accounts. Transfer on Death (TOD) is usually used with brokerage accounts. 
  • Contingent beneficiaries-Many people miss naming contingent beneficiaries on their insurance, retirement, and annuity accounts. Without proper beneficiary designations, assets could default to estate which could increase taxes. 
  • Step up Basis planning on low-cost basis assets. Use the rules to reduce capital gains taxes. 
  • Medicare planning via Irrevocable Trust. This could be useful if one spouse needs long-term care, and assets for the other spouse need protection. 
  • Business succession planning– Many business owners have most of their net worth tied into their businesses. Thinking through business succession in estate planning, could lead to more tax-efficient transfer, business continuity, and value realization. 
  • Estate tax mitigation– Each spouse has an amount that they can leave to their heirs without estate taxes. An estate attorney can file the proper documents so that each spouse maintains their “exclusion.” Read more about File Form 706 and portability, here
  • Asset protection for heirs– Divorce, addiction, or lawsuits can happen to anyone. Having assets in a trust could protect your heirs from themselves or others. 

Good planning is not just for you. It is for your family and your business, as well. I have seen families and businesses torn apart when money is at stake and the direction is unclear.

Do the right thing. Have it done right.

If you have any questions, please let me know. We work with an extensive network of attorneys who could help you with your estate planning needs. 

Retire Happy Podcast Ep. 24. Inspiring Quotes From Charlie Munger

On the lighter side, I went to Scottsdale, AZ last week for our annual top advisor summit. I love sharing ideas on how to help good people, like you, be financially free. 

Elliott’s last week of high school is this week. That is just insane.  

Hope all is well with you and your family,


Finger Financial Five – 5 points in 5 minutes or less – is to provide you with a weekly shot of useful financial information.  My intention is to share principles, so that you will have more clarity and peace, that help you make better financial decisions. 

Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor.  Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC and Riverbend Wealth Management are separate entities. 

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information and provided by Riverbend Wealth Management. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Stratos Wealth Partners and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.


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