Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate. Estate planning typically attempts to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of a probate and maximize the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. Guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity.
If you’d like to better ensure that your assets are distributed as you’d like them to be when you die, estate planning is the answer. Through successful estate planning, your assets would be transferred to your chosen beneficiaries while minimizing tax consequences. Estate planning can also help assure that family members know how you’d like your financial and medical affairs to be handled if you become incapable of making your own decisions.
The process of estate planning includes inventorying your assets; talking over important decisions with family members; and retaining an estate planning attorney to draft a will and/ or establish a revocable living trust along with appropriate supporting documents.
Estate Planning is simply the transfer of accumulated wealth to beneficiaries upon death. However, navigating and managing estate transfers is nothing simple. For consumers who have estate concerns, strategies and processes must be implemented early in the wealth accumulation phase. Many consumers that have not planned properly can encounter significant reductions in the amount of assets that are ultimately transferred to their beneficiaries. This area of financial planning presents a great consumer base for advisors to reach to.
Click here to access a free guide that discusses estate planning concerns and how your clients can implement strategies that minimize the tax burdens of their estates.
Special Needs Trust
A Special Needs Trust is a financial account established for the benefit of a child or adult with special needs in the event of the caregiver’s death. There are certain aspects that make establishing a special needs trust attractive for consumers with these needs, such as not facing federal income tax. With survivorship life insurance, consumers have a cost-efficient source of funding for a special needs trust.
Click here to access a free guide that provides consumer information about Special Needs Trusts.
Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts
Irrevocable Life Insurance trusts (ILT) are often established by married couples to secure income upon the death of one of the spouses while minimizing the tax burdens on the death benefit of life insurance. A Spousal Access Trust is a type of ILT that establishes the spouse of the trust grantor who then uses annual exclusion gift amounts to establish the ILT, which then purchases a life insurance policy.
Click here to access a guide that details how Spousal Access Trusts work and can benefit your clients.
Estate Planning Tax Relief
Although there have been changes in estate tax within the last fourteen years, individuals who have accumulated significant wealth still may have large portions of their assets reduced by estate taxes.
This concept guide outlines and illustrates the importance estate planning and how life insurance plays a value role in wealth transfer.
Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)
A Grantor Retained Annuity Trust is a financial structure that allows an individual to reduce some of the transfer tax cost in estate situations. The individual, or grantor, creates a trust for a set period and designates beneficiaries, and is able to receive income payments from the annuity within the trust. At death, beneficiaries will receive the remaining value of the trust. Because the GRAT value will be subject to the individual’s estate tax if he or she dies before the term of the contract, many will have a trustee establish an irrevocable life insurance trust, which may offset some of the estate tax reduction.
Click here to access a guide detailing Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts.
Because of the higher estate amount associated with the generation skipping tax, or GST, a multi-generation trust may be a viable option for individuals seeking to reduce or eliminate tax burdens to a generation of heirs. With life insurance implemented into the multi-generation trust structure, this type of financial legacy can have additional benefits.
Click here to access concept pages about the Multi-Generation Trusts and their relationship with life insurance.
A Dynasty Trust is very similar in spirit to a multi-generation trust and in concept to an irrevocable trust. Dynasty Trusts, as the name implies, are designed to last over many generations.
Click here to access a guide that details Dynasty Trusts and how life insurance factors into this wealth transfer structure.
Trust Owned Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
This guide outlines a common strategy with wealth transfer and life insurance, the Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust. Consumers may elect to have a current life insurance policy absorbed into the trust, or to fund the trust, that then purchases a life insurance policy for the consumer.
Click here to access a guide on Trust Owned Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts.
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