Eight of the most common estate planning objectives which influence a couple’s estate plan are set forth in an article by Lewis Saret in Forbes magazine.
- PROVIDE FOR LOVED ONES The most important estate planning objective for most married couples is to ensure that their loved ones are provided for if one or both spouses become incapacitated or die. The loved ones are the surviving spouse, children (especially minor children), relatives and pets.
- MINIMIZE TAXES Another important objective is to minimize taxes. This includes federal estate taxes and state estate taxes.
- PROTECT ASSETS PASSING TO SURVIVING SPOUSES AND HEIRS Married couples want to protect their assets which should pass to their surviving spouses and their children from going to creditors and future spouses in the case of divorce.
- SIMPLE AND INEXPENSIVE Couples want their plans to be as straight forward and of the lowest cost possible.
- PRIVACY Couples prefer their finances remain private to protect the surviving spouse from being targeted by fraudulent schemes and solicitations.
- CONTROL OVER ASSETS Many couples prefer to retain control over their assets so the assets are not subject to the claims of their children’s creditors. Couples with significant amounts of wealth which they have created themselves, not inherited, express concern about the impact of the wealth on their children.
- INCAPACITY Couples take steps to deal with incapacity by putting in place durable powers of attorney for property and health care.
- ASSET MANAGEMENT Couples want in place a system which manages their assets when they are no longer able to do so.
All of these objectives can be attained by consulting with an estate planning attorney.
Consult your estate planning attorney for further information.