Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Most married couples share similar estate planning objectives. Understanding these objectives help couples and their estate planners determine the best way to configure their estate plan. Provided below are the most common objectives influencing a couple’s estate plan:
- Providing for Loved Ones. The most important objective is to ensure loved ones are provided for if both spouses become incapacitated or pass away.
- Minimize Taxes. By minimizing taxes, couples are able to maximize the amount of assets going to loved ones.
- Protect Assets. Married couples want to protect assets going to their surviving spouses and their children from creditors.
- Simple and Cost-Effective. Couples want their estate plans to be as simple and inexpensive as possible. This requires that future expenses be taken into account as well as time to implement the estate plan.
- Privacy. Many couples prefer estate plans that maintain their privacy.
- Control. Married couples want to maintain control over their assets to the largest extent possible. They also prefer to give their children control of assets passing to those children.
- Incapacity. Dealing with incapacity is a vital part of drafting an estate plan. This takes the form of durable powers of attorney and advance medical directives. More sophisticated plans may include insurance planning and/or business succession planning.
- Managing Assets. Many individuals will desire to enact estate plans that attempt to replace their management when they are no longer capable of managing the family’s assets.
See Lewis Saret, Eight Common Estate Planning Objectives of Married Couples, Forbes, May 13, 2014.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.