Goal Determination

Individuals and families usually have some sense or idea of what they wish to accomplish during the estate planning process. However, goal determination by attorneys with expertise in this area can provide some needed guidance. To create a fully-developed understanding of the potential benefits to be derived from estate planning, both individuals and families are wise to consider the insights and direction available from qualified financial advisors and well trained educated insurance professionals.

Mr. Hunsberger has spent over 30 years teaching, training and working for programs dedicated to the development of professionals in both of these areas of expertise.

Family Considerations

The philosophy at Hunsberger Dunn LLP has always been to help families preserve their wealth and achieve their long-term financial goals. The coordination of the estate and financial plan is vital. Seek professional guidance to consider the following:

  • Discuss your family situation to ensure that the terms of your estate plan still reflect your wishes and family situation
  • Review the beneficiary designation of your IRAs and retirement plans to be sure you are taking advantage of the recent law changes
  • Review your assets to be sure they are properly titled in your living trust
  • Analyze the impact of any new tax law changes to see if your estate planning documents need to be updated

Steps to Begin Planning

As you take steps to organize your affairs, your plan should address which family members you intend to benefit from the estate plan, and who will benefit from your IRA and other retirement assets. Each choice you make may have important tax consequences. Consider these steps as you start to plan:

  1. Survey your assets: Begin with investments, savings, retirement plans, real estate, life insurance, annuities, business, other personal assets, etc.
  2. List key contacts/relationships: Among others, your estate planning attorney, financial advisor and CPA to use for yourself and your family
  3. Organize important papers: At a minimum - your Will, Trust, deeds, beneficiary designations, life insurance policies and account statements
  4. Estimate your needs: Calculate the amounts to ensure your financial security during your lifetime
  5. Get professional guidance: Consult with an estate planning attorney, financial advisor and CPA
  6. Define your goals: Ask advisors for guidance in calculating your goals - such as providing for your spouse, children, grandchildren, charitable donations, etc.

NOTE: Reducing taxation is a logical goal but should rarely be the primary purpose for planning. Please be prepared to discuss the most basic beliefs of your family as the starting and finishing points of your planning.

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