Monday, December 15, 2014
Understanding Estate Planning
While founders have vision, comprehend risk and reward, and are good at making decisions, they unfortunately do not understand the importance of having an estate plan.
Because an estate plan is more than just a document that disposes of assets at death, maybe it is time to reframe the objective into terms a client can understand. Just as a business plan is a road map to long-term success, an estate plan is a road map to achieving peace of mind. Since there is no escaping death and taxes, we might as well help our clients plan for both.
A great estate plan, like a great business plan, will provide a road map to success. In order to create a plan, a client and his advisors should understand the client’s current personal and financial situation. There are several basic documents that should be included in almost all plans: (1) a financial power of attorney; (2) a health care power of attorney; (3) a health care directive or living will; (4) a will detailing how assets should be distributed; and (5) beneficiary designation forms.
Once your client understands the importance of planning, you must bring all the elements together into a working plan. Your objective is to help the client develop, review and execute basic estate planning documents.
See Lorri Ann Dunsmore, A Different Kind of Business Plan, Wealth Management, Dec. 10, 2014.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.