Estate planning should be a part of every financial plan, regardless of complexity. Often families assume proper estate planning is reserved merely for the ultra-wealthy, but this could not be further from the truth. Proper planning ranges from small but extremely important items like updating and monitoring beneficiaries on retirement accounts and life insurance policies all the way to multi-generational planning through multi-layered trusts and life insurance. Regardless of the complexity of your estate, the important thing is to have a plan in place.
Often the most difficult part of estate planning is starting the conversation. Topics related death and the transition of assets are difficult and emotional draining. Our goal is to facilitate these conversations with each of our clients, so they do not feel overburdened with the decision-making process. We are there every step of the way to give them confidence in their choices and remove roadblocks to creating a well thought out and secure estate plan that is coordinated with all other aspects of their financial plan.
Estate Planning is never a one-size-fits-all process. Like most things, there are trade-offs. BWM advisors can work with you to understand the trade-offs and choose the path that makes the most sense for your family. With estate planning the biggest trade off is typically control vs flexibility.
Choosing a more flexible estate planning approach provides greater adaptability to address future uncertainties, changes in laws, or evolving family dynamics. This approach acknowledges that circumstances may change, and it allows for adjustments along the way. Revocable Trusts, Lifetime Gifting, and Donor Advised Funds are typically cost effective to maintain and offer flexibility to change strategies in the future, but also can lead to unwanted changes and sometimes increase estate taxes in certain circumstances.
Bear in mind that no estate plan is permanent. Life changes and also the composition of your assets may change over time. Your team of advisors will work closely with you to ensure your estate plan is always up to date with your wishes and the current regulatory environment.