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10 Reasons to Complete Your Estate Plan Now

06/01/2011

This is the 42nd in a series of brief articles that Moye White is sending to its clients and friends to provide practical insights into opportunities and challenges in today's business and financial world.

1. You can appoint trustworthy people to be in charge to fulfill your intentions if you become disabled or upon your death.

  • Agent for financial matters
  • Agent for health care decisions
  • Trustee and successor trustees
  • Guardian and conservator of minor children or disabled dependents

2. You can protect yourself if you are disabled. A complete plan includes documents which go into effect during life, when you are unable to make your own decisions.

  • General powers of attorney
  • Health care powers of attorney
  • Living will
  • Revocable living trust

3. You can leave assets to whom you want, when you want them to have them, and prevent challenges to your will.

4. You can transfer assets without incurring gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer tax liabilities.

  • Balance your estates
  • Lifetime gifts
  • Intra-family loans
  • Life insurance trusts
  • Asset protection strategies and tools

5. Your estate can stay out of court.

  • Maintain privacy
  • Simplify transfer of assets
  • Depend on trustworthy people to do as you would have done

6. You can coordinate assets that pass by beneficiary designation with the rest of your estate plan.

7. You can plan for business succession through tools such as:

  • Buy-sell agreements
  • Shareholders' agreements
  • Golden handcuff plans
  • Non-qualified deferred compensation plans

8. You can create or leave a legacy through lifetime or testamentary charitable giving.

  • Establish a private foundation
  • Support a public charity
  • Contribute to a donor-advised fund

9. You can change your estate plan as your needs change, because estate documents are living documents.

  • Wills are revocable and small changes are made through a Codicil.
  • Revocable living trusts are amendable.
  • Upon your death or a disability, your estate plan will be flexible and powerful enough for trustworthy appointees to manage your estate in you or your family’s best interests according to circumstances and the laws in effect at that time. Planning without an advisor or relying on intestacy laws can restrict a personal representative or trustee from fulfilling your wishes contrary to your intent.

10. You can have peace of mind. It takes some thought, but it will be a relief to know your estate plan is in place and how you want it. You give a gift to your survivors to implement your intentions. Many loved ones are comforted knowing, “She/he would have wanted it this way.”

From wills to complex business succession and estate plans, Moye White’s attorneys help people plan for the future and realize goals for themselves and their families.

For more information contact:
Scott Greiner, Co-Chair, Estate, Tax & Trust Group,
Marilyn McWilliams, Co-Chair, Estate, Tax & Trust Group or
Ted White at (303) 292-2900.

Moye White LLP has prepared this bulletin to provide general information; however this bulletin does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Moye White. No legal or business decision should be based solely on the content of this bulletin.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scott P. Greiner, LL.M. (Tax)

Attorney

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