What is estate planning?

Estate planning refers to all assets that are legally included in your estate upon your passing. This includes things like: real estate properties, investments, vehicles, collectibles, insurance policies, cash, and anything you may have a controlling interest in, such as a business.

By law, someone must inherit these items when you pass. When this happens without proper planning, taxes and probate can be a huge headache for your heirs in addition to the emotions they'll have.

Our estate planning strategies are used to help your chosen beneficiaries inherit your assets as you wish, and at the same time, preserving the income you desire during your life.



Intentionally structuring the assets in your estate will also help you avoid unjustly losing them. You've worked hard for everything that you have, and we want you to be protected.


Estate planning is one of the more complex subjects at first glance, but once we identify your goals, it can really become quite manageable. 

We are not attorneys, but we will work with your attorneys to put any strategies you like into place. We don't provide tax or legal advice, but we can help guide you through the process. Below are some estate planning concepts to consider.

  • Wills, Living Wills, and POAs
    • Wills are necessary for passing on assets after you die. They should be reviewed every few years to make sure nothing has changed.
    • Living Wills allow your medical wishes to be followed in the circumstance where you become incapacitated but are still living.
    • Having a power of attorney will allow someone of your choosing to make decisions on your behalf. A durable POA can make decisions even if you become mentally unable to do so.
    • Create a “Family Love Letter” to convey wishes that fall outside of financial accounts and legal documents.
  • Beneficiary Updates
    • It’s important to review your beneficiaries periodically to address changes.
    • Consider leaving certain assets to individual beneficiaries based on their financial situation rather than yours.
  • Asset Location
    • Locating your assets in specific account types can allow some time to pass on to beneficiaries with added tax benefits.
  • Gifting, QCDs, and 529 Plans
    • Gifting is a common strategy for moving assets out of your estate. There are techniques we can use that aim to maximize your gifts.
    • QCDs (Qualified Charitable Distributions) are one way to gift to charity while satisfying your RMD requirements and reducing taxes simultaneously.
    • There have been recent changes to 529 plans. While their primary focus is still education funding, there are more freedoms allowed now that can be effective for estate planning.
  • ILITs and other Life Insurances
    • These can be designed to move assets out of your estate and pass them onto beneficiaries tax free.
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
    • These can be an effective way of generating income while moving assets out of your estate, with the added benefit of contributing to a charitable cause.
  • GRITs GRATs and GRUTs
    • These can be an effective way of generating income while also moving assets out of your estate.