They say you can’t take it with you but you can say how and to whom you leave it; that’s where estate planning comes in.
Estate planning is a very personal process. It involves looking closely at the things you believe in, how you feel about your family's future, how you want to accomplish your business transition goals, and how to build your legacy.
Some individuals find the estate planning processing confusing and complex.
- They fear losing control of their assets.
- Worry about the impact of estate taxes.
- Agonize over the effects their decisions will have on their descendants.
- Worry when to make the assets available and how much to leave each family member.
Depending on the size of your estate, your estate planning goals should:
- Transfer assets to your intended beneficiaries.
- Reduce estate administration costs.
- Reduce or eliminate federal gift, estate, and generation-skipping taxes.
- Protect your estate from mismanagement.
- Protect your estate from the claims of creditors and ex-spouses.
- Provide incentives to beneficiaries to be productive members of society.
Estate planning involves both basic and advanced planning tools and may include:
- Life insurance
- Trusts: Charitable Remainder Trust; Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust; Credit Shelter Trust, Revocable Living Trust
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Lifetime Giving
When exploring estate planning, make sure your personal financial planning begins with income protection during your earning years and plans for possible future needs so you have a stream of income to cover current expenses and protect your estate.
Consider the many roles life insurance plays in estate planning.
- Life insurance proceeds can provide an inheritance and provide for dependents with special needs.
- Provide funding for estate tax.
- Maximize the value of retirement accounts and preserve or transfer a business.
- Diversify and preserve family assets, particularly family businesses.
- Fund charitable giving.
The laws on estate taxes are constantly changing. To maximize the potential of your estate, it’s important to consult with individuals who are knowledgeable in estate planning who stay on top of current laws, and who know the particular goals of you and your family. This is all available through Northwestern Mutual.
Life insurance may play a surprising number of roles in estate planning beyond providing cash for federal estate tax. Life insurance offers certainty in an uncertain world and ensures your estate planning’s primary objective is met — taking care of the people you love.
Through careful thought and use of the proper tools, your estate plan can leave your beneficiaries everything you meant for them to have.