As you consider an Estate Plan, make sure to include these core items:

  1. Trust: A Trust enables a trustee to hold and oversee assets on behalf of beneficiaries according to the terms set out in the trust document. Trusts are useful for multiple purposes, such as avoiding probate, providing for minor children or family members with special needs, controlling when beneficiaries receive assets, and potentially reducing estate taxes. Setting up a Trust requires careful consideration of your goals and the expertise of legal professionals.

  2. Last Will and Testament: A Will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed upon your death. When a Trust is included as part of your estate plan, a Will often transfers all assets to the Trust for administration. A Will also allows you to appoint guardians for minor children and name an executor to manage the portions of your estate that might be outside your Trust. Without a Will and Trust, your assets may be distributed according to default state law distribution rules- which may not align with your desires.

  3. Powers of Attorney: A power of attorney grants someone the authority to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. There are different types of powers of attorney, some for financial matters and others for healthcare decisions. Choosing a trusted individual to act as your power of attorney helps ensures that your affairs and medical care decisions are managed according to your wishes if you are incapacitated.

  4. Estate Taxes: Estate taxes are levied on the transfer of property upon someone’s death in certain situations. The threshold for owing federal estate tax is quite high currently, but state estate taxes may apply at lower thresholds. Proper estate planning can help minimize estate taxes through strategies such as gifting, setting up trusts, and taking advantage of tax exemptions and deductions.

  5. Regular Review and Updates: Life circumstances change over time, so it’s essential to review and update your estate plan regularly. Major life events such as marriage, divorce, birth of children or grandchildren, significant changes in financial status, or relocation to another state can all necessitate updates to your estate plan. By keeping your estate plan current, you can help ensure your plan continues to reflect your wishes.

Jeremiah J. Lee, J.D., CFP ® is Principal & Chief Executive Officer of TriCord Advisors. In 2020, he also founded TriCord Legal Services, Inc. to provide legal services to the clients of TriCord Advisors.

If you need help establishing an estate plan, here are the next steps:

  • Book a 15-minute complimentary call with Jeremiah (click here)
  • Schedule an initial appointment to meet more of the team and start the creation of your financial and estate plan!

At TriCord Advisors, we are your future’s best ally.

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