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Estate Planning

Your estate plan should culminate the sum total of your life desires, but communicating those desires in your estate planning documents can be a daunting task. As your financial situation grows more complex estate planning decisions become harder. In determining what’s best for your family we must consider who receives what, in what form, and what will be the result once your estate is distributed. How would you respond to the following questions?

  • Do your executor, trustee, and children’s guardian have the same value system as you and your spouse?
  • Do you have a will? Has it been updated in the last five years?
  • Do your current documents specify the amount you will want your children to receive? Can they handle the form and amount of assets they will be receiving? Should your assets be distributed equally to your children?
  • Would you like to give more to charitable organizations? Could estate planning techniques allow you to give more?
  • Have you held a family conference to discuss estate planning issues with your children?
  • Have you developed a business succession plan? Are you taking advantage of currently available estate planning techniques to minimize or possibly eliminate your potential capital gains and estate tax associated with the transfer of your business?

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Financial Planning
Professional Money Management
Tax Planning
Tax Preparation

These are important questions. In conjunction with your attorney, insurance agent, and the estate planning professionals at H.D. Vest Investments, we want to help you answer these questions.   Our estate planning process will help you feel confident about the transfer of your assets and the effect it will have on those you leave them to.

Family Financial Services will serve as a very effective intermediary between you and your other advisors such as your accountant, attorney, and insurance representative(s). For your financial planner to function as a "coordinator" in this process, it is critically important for us to develop a personal understanding of your life priorities throughout the financial planning process. Reducing your estate tax and providing for efficient wealth transfer are important and certainly a priority. But, we feel the wishes and values of the owner(s) are what should ultimately be reflected in the estate plan.

By employing your financial planner as the estate planning coordinator, you have authorized him or her to hold the members of your team accountable.  Each member's contribution needs to fit and support the other components of the overall plan. This requires coordination, communication and understanding of how each part uniquely supports the whole.

Finally, we will make sure that the estate planning decisions you have made are clearly understandable to you. We are fully aware that you will probably not execute a plan that you are not confident in. Having confidence in a plan you don't understand is unlikely.  Each team member should be held responsible for explaining, to your satisfaction, how their part supports your plan.

Your attorney is probably NOT a planner.  Your accountant is probably NOT a planner. Your insurance representative is probably NOT a planner. Your tax specialist is probably NOT a planner.  It IS vitally important that you have a person coordinate the efforts of your estate planning team who is by nature and training, a planner.