Estate Plan Strategy
Aligning Your Wishes And Your Wealth
Estate plans are often thought of as a one-and-done event. Once an estate plan is built, you’re all set for life. At Strait & Sound, we know that’s not true. Why? Because a decade of life can change a lot of things. If it has been more than a decade since your estate plan was developed, the likelihood is very high that it no longer fully expresses your wishes. This could mean that everything you did to achieve complete financial independence might end up benefitting someone other than those you had in mind.
Truly effective estate plans are comprised of at least five key documents:
- A last will and testament, which expresses how you want your assets divided and who will be the executor of the estate.
- A living trust, which helps your assets avoid probate and some forms of taxation, depending on the state in which you live.
- A durable power of attorney for healthcare, which defines who can make healthcare decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
- A durable power of attorney for property, which defines who can make financial decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
- An advanced healthcare directive, which expresses your wishes to healthcare professionals about how to proceed if your life is at risk and you cannot respond.
Given the complexity of these situations and documents, it’s a good idea to have someone besides your estate attorney or a family member to give them a critical review.
Key Take Away
“If it has been more than a decade since your estate plan was developed, the likelihood is very high that it no longer fully expresses your wishes.”
Our Approach To Estate Plan Strategy
Strait & Sound is not a law firm and we do not offer estate planning services. We want to say that for the record. However, we do have a lot of experience in analyzing estate plans and identifying areas where a person’s estate plan and wishes are not aligned. Our approach to doing so often includes these steps:
- Review – we review the documentation clients provide us, including the five key documents noted above. We actually dig into the details on these documents to understand how they’re constituted and how closely this matches up to our client’s stated goals.
- Analysis – we analyze how these documents compare to our client’s wishes. In many instances, our analysis reveals inconsistencies that clients will want to address.
- Priorities – we identify and prioritize those situations we believe clients should address.
- Recommendations – we recommend actions that clients should take.
- Coordination – we coordinate with the client’s other professional advisors, particularly estate attorneys, to ensure the action is taken.
- Accountability – we keep the situation in front of the client and apprise them of status until the action is fully taken.
Who Is Your Partner?
Given how important estate planning is to wealth building and achieving one’s dreams in life, we think it is essential to have a third-party review. Our role is to review your current estate plan, to identify where it doesn’t align with your goals and to recommend changes, where appropriate. At the very least, our review and analysis can serve as a second-opinion to confirm that you have the best possible estate plan already. Quite possibly, we could help identify situations that you were unaware of and that you will want to address.
We Provide Comprehensive Wealth Management Services For People Seeking Complete Financial Independence
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