Estate Planning

For some people, financial planning primarily seeks to address how to build up their nest egg and make it last through retirement. But many others desire to ensure that their estate delivers benefits beyond their own retirement — producing a lasting legacy even after they have passed.

Why Estate Planning is Important

If you wish to leave behind a lasting legacy — whether for family and loved ones or a charitable institution — then you need to put in place a well-thought-out estate plan, so your legacy is established in accordance with your wishes. Without such a plan, strangers (the state, lawyers or individuals who don’t have your interests in mind) could determine what happens to your future.

What We Can Do for You

Our estate planning services include:

  • Helping you understand the importance of a will: Your will should be the cornerstone of your estate plan. We can help you understand why and how to structure this document in advance of meeting with your legal team. From a simple will to a testamentary will, joint wills and living wills — our professionals will help you navigate the complexities.
  • Discussing when a Revocable Living Trust is a better solution: Wills can help dispose of your property, BUT they do not help you avoid probate. If you have accumulated a substantial estate, probate can be expensive and time consuming. A trust can accomplish all that a will does (and more) without having the family go through probate.
  • Creating Powers of Attorney (POA): You need a POA in place to ensure your wishes are followed — whether regarding asset management and final arrangements after you’re gone or health-care decisions if you become ill or incapacitated.
  • Choosing executors and successor trustees: We’ll help you understand the importance of choosing an executor/successor trustee(s) for your estate, and what criteria you should consider when appointing someone to discharge this all-important role — especially if minor children/guardians are involved.
  • Designating beneficiaries: If you don’t choose beneficiaries for your assets carefully, they might well end up in the hands of individuals you never intended should benefit.
  • Considering your dependents’ needs: A well-thought-out estate plan will ensure that all of the needs of your dependents (be they minors, adult children, siblings, persons with special needs or aging parents) are taken care of in accordance with your desires.
  • Explaining tax planning considerations (minimizing estate taxes and reducing probate fees): Without a well-thought-out estate plan, a considerable part of your estate could erode through taxes, fees and other levies, even before your designated beneficiaries see a cent.
  • Preserving your estate: Though you might no longer be here, many of your assets — such as long-term investments, property and other tangible assets — will likely need care, protection and management until they are finally disposed of, and the proceeds distributed to your designated beneficiaries.
  • Discussing health and welfare considerations: A comprehensive estate plan contains several components, including directives to your executors/successor trustees and POA-holders about what to do in case your health (mental or physical) deteriorates. In the absence of those components, medical professionals or state-appointed representatives might be the ones making those decisions.


*Financial Framing and LPL Financial do not offer legal advice or services.