Remember to Coordinate Your Estate Plan
A client has many types of assets. Let’s look at a typical client. John has $1,000,000. This includes his home, worth $250,000, a brokerage account worth $400,000, and an IRA worth $350,000. John is unmarried and wants 45% to go his son, 45% to his daughter, 5% to his brother, and 5% to his sister. The estate planning attorney drafts a trust with the appropriate percentages.
But, how were the assets titled? Were the non-IRA assets funded into the trust? Perhaps he inherited the home from his parents and it is in joint tenancy with his sister. If so, his sister will get the entire house, and his assets will not be distributed as contemplated. If the brokerage account is not in the trust, it might have a beneficiary designation which could thwart the distribution scheme. What about the IRA? What is the beneficiary designation? Is there any life insurance? What is the beneficiary designation?
Often, clients forget to mention an asset which has a beneficiary designation. They may forget about a 401(k) or pension plan. They may forget about a group life insurance policy through the office. A good estate planning attorney will ferret out these assets in the interview process and take them into account when putting the plan together.
You cannot make sure you are achieving the client’s goals unless you know what the assets are and where they will go. A good estate planning attorney will coordinate a plan for all the assets.
Who can help me with my estate planning?
Call today to schedule your complimentary estate planning consultation with Ed Matthews.
Ed Matthews is one of only a few attorneys in the state of Minnesota who is also a currently licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Ed graduated summa cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law in 2003, where he served as Executive Editor of the Law Review. He is a former Minnesota Supreme Court law clerk. Perhaps, most importantly, he does not practice probate! Instead, he has dedicated his life to helping Minnesota families avoid probate and protect their hard-earned assets.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with Ed Matthews, call (651) 501-5608.
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