The Beatles and Estate Planning
This October, Estate Planning Awareness Week will coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the recording of the Beatles hit song, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” These two seemingly different occasions to the masses are singing the same tune for Warren Averett’s estate planning advisors. Estate planning is a unique and personal process for all who go through it and the Warren Averett team desires to be involved each step of the way.
The dedication in the words of the Beatles song is much our anthem and philosophy of estate planning at Warren Averett. Essentially, the estate planning process is never complete, and grows and changes with your circumstances. It should involve more than preparing a will, although a will is normally a part of any estate plan even where a living trust is the primary means of wealth transfer. An estate plan, rather, is an arrangement for the preservation, protection and passing on of one’s wealth. Warren Averett advisors strive to assist in each element of the process.
The best techniques to accomplish this arrangement are created during lifetime and provide the maximum use of assets during life. A thoughtful estate plan should anticipate and provide for such lifetime needs as providing for children’s education, income for retirement, replacement income in the event of disability, and management of the finances and assets in the event of incapacity. Satisfying these needs can be accomplished in many ways, over an extended period of time as life changes and with the use of a variety of techniques. Generally, these techniques are also accomplished with the involvement of other advisors, such as accountants, attorneys, investment advisors, bankers and insurance agents. Our team can coordinate the implementation and monitoring of your estate plan throughout the entire process.
While estate planning is fundamentally a process, our approach is centered on relationships and results. We begin with determining your goals and objectives, collect and analyze your information, and make recommendations. We will work with your other advisors to implement the plan, and monitor the plan as needs, objectives and laws change. Many estate plans grow stagnant in one of these process steps, leaving your planning potentially ineffective.
Most commonly, here is a list of obstacles that hinder an estate plan:
- Inadequate survivor income or assets transferring
- Outdated planning
- Omitted or overlooked provisions
- Lacks adequate liquidity
- Improper estate or income tax planning
- Inappropriate ownership of assets
- Failure to plan for disability or illness
- Neglect to consider inflation
If your estate plan is experiencing one of these obstacles or you don’t yet have an estate plan, we can assist at any phase and “hold your hand” throughout of the process. Please call your Warren Averett contact or any member of our Estate and Trust team to ensure your estate planning needs are current and secure.