Your Legacy: Does it matter to you?
I'd like to take a minute to discuss how your estate plan and your legacy are tied together. How will you be remembered by your children and your community?
If you're a high-income earner, the way that you arrange your affairs for the day when you are no longer in the picture may make a great deal of difference to those that you leave behind.
You have worked hard all of your life. It was you that studied for exams, rose at the crack of dawn, and sacrificed your time and energy to accumulate the assets that you have today. You are where you are today because you've worked very hard to be.
Don't let a government that doesn't even know you or care about your family take 40-60% of your assets from your family when you die.
Proper estate planning will ensure that your positive image survives intact. Here are 5 absolutely essential steps you should take to protect your legacy.
The Essential Estate Plan
If you are a high-net-worth individual you MUST protect your legacy with these essential tools.
1. Have a simple Will
This is the easiest and simplest thing to do, yet I can't tell you how many folks I meet with who don't have one. Without a Will, the state you live in gets to decide how your assets are distributed when you die.
2. Have a Durable Powers document signed and on file
This is simply a document that gives instructions in case you are incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself. It should include instructions should a decision ever need to be made about whether or not to discontinue life support. My favorite is the "5 Wishes" document which is now valid and recognized as legal in all 50 states. You can learn more at agingwithdignity.org
3. Utilize a Trust
Living, Marital, and/or A&B trusts can shelter your estate from taxes, as well as avoid the costs of probate (which may be between 4-10% of the cost of your entire estate). The intelligent use of trusts, combined with ILIT's (see #4) can save an estate hundred's of thousands, even millions in estate taxes.
4. Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
There is no more tax-efficient vehicle on earth than life insurance for passing assets along to the next generation. Combining life insurance with an ILIT can eliminate estate taxes for the next generation.
5. Utilize a FLP or FLLC
Placing assets inside a Family Limited Partnership or a Family LLC will give substantial discounts on the valuation of your estate, which will, in turn, reduce estate taxes.
The tools listed above
are just the basics for folks with any kind of wealth. If you don't take advantage of these legal methods of protecting your heirs, you could be costing them millions of dollars that will otherwise go to the government and attorneys. Of course, you'll be dead and won't have to worry about it, but your heirs may be very upset that you didn't take the time (or were too cheap) to set up a well crafted estate plan.
How does the financial planner fit into all this?
At NavStar we have the team to assemble all the pieces of your estate plan. Give us a shout and let's protect your legacy.
Insurance and annuity products are not sold through Virtue Capital Management, LLC (“VCM”). VCM does not endorse any annuity or insurance products nor does it guarantee any annuity or insurance products performance.