October 19th, 2011

Your Financial Questions Answered

Bruce Brundige, LPL Financial Consultant at SMCU, has been involved in the financial services industry for over 24 years. Here, Bruce answers your financial planning questions.

Q: What Should I Consider When Drafting an Estate Plan?

Because you’ve worked hard to create a secure and comfortable lifestyle for your family, you’ll want to ensure that you have a sound financial plan that includes trust and estate planning. With some forethought, you may be able to minimize gift and estate taxes and preserve more of your assets for those you care about.

Part 1: Communicating Your Wishes

  • Do you have a will?
  • Are you comfortable with the executor(s) and trustee(s) you have selected?
  • Have you executed a living will or health care proxy?
  • Have you considered a living trust to avoid probate?
  • If you have a living trust, have you titled your assets in the name of the trust?

Part 2: Protecting Your Family

  • Are the beneficiaries of your investment accounts up to date?
  • If you want to limit your spouse’s flexibility regarding the inheritance, have you created a Q-TIP trust?
  • Are you sure you have the right amount and type of life insurance for survivor income, loan repayment, capital needs, and all estate-settlement expenses?
  • Have you considered an irrevocable life insurance trust to exclude the insurance proceeds from being taxed as part of your estate?
  • Have you considered creating trusts for family gift giving?
  • Do you have long term care insurance to protect your assets?

Part 3: Reducing Your Taxes

  • If you are married, are you taking full advantage of the marital deduction?
  • Are you making gifts to family members that take advantage of the $13,000 annual gift tax exclusion?
  • Have you gifted assets with a strong probability of future appreciation in order to maximize future estate tax savings?
  • Have you considered charitable trusts that could provide you with both estate and income tax benefits?

Part 4: Protecting Your Business

  • Do you have a management succession plan?
  • Do you have a buy/sell agreement for your family business interests?

A qualified financial professional and a tax professional can help ensure you are minimizing taxes and maximizing gains for your heirs. You can bring this four-part checklist to your initial meeting to discuss how to make your plan comprehensive and up-to-date.

Is it time you spoke with a Financial Consultant? Contact us at (206) 398-5707 or by email at InvestmentServices@smcu.com with your questions.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates. LPL Financial is not affiliated with SMCU. Not NCUA insured. Not Credit Union Guaranteed. May Lose Value.

Comments are closed.