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Estate Planning: Leveraging Your Trusted Advisors

Ashley Copp, CFA, Wealth Management Advisor | Candise Holmlund, CFA, CFP®, TEP, Senior Consultant, Partner | April 28, 2017


The process of creating your estate plan can be a dynamic and challenging task involving detailed discussions with your estate planning attorney, financial advisor, and CPA. Every family is unique, with different assets, goals, and complexities that must be reflected in your planning instruments. We have described the documents that should be a part of your estate plan in our previous blog post and the driving forces behind these documents of tax and control.

Our clients often have to push themselves to consider a variety of outcomes and “what if” scenarios, starting with the now – what would occur if something happened to myself and/or my spouse tomorrow? Although emotionally challenging to think about, the process is necessary. Estate plans are living documents that can be adjusted as you, your family, and your assets grow and change over time.

Frame the Discussion

Your estate plan should include provisions for your assets both during your lifetime and after your passing. Strategic planning to address the tax, legal and financial aspects of your estate while living should ensure all pieces of the overall estate are working together most efficiently to minimize tax and risk, while maximizing growth and return. However, equally as important are the mechanisms put into place to ensure proper distribution of assets at your passing or incapacitation, considering your goals, values, and objectives.

The motivations vary significantly per family. The principles and ideals that are important to you should be a running thread throughout the estate plan, including:

  • Ongoing family business – operations or ownership
  • Charitable intent – specific organization/cause or core value of giving back to your community
  • Financial security – of your spouse and family
  • Support of education – kids and/or grandkids

The strategy and the individuals designated to carry out your legacy are fundamental ingredients to the success of your estate plan after your passing. We have created a checklist and timeline to illustrate the complex process of settling an estate and the imperative role of your executor or successor trustee.  This checklist also illustrates the complexity and detail involved for your loved ones after your passing.  Weatherly serves as a quarterback for our clients to collaborate with your estate planning attorney and CPA to delegate necessary tasks, and provide personalized support.  Our goal is for your team to work as a well-oiled machine and guide you through the estate administration process with comfort and clarity.

Leverage Professionals

Your most vital tool is the team of advisors assembled to guide you and your heirs throughout this dynamic process. The selected professionals will provide competent, efficient, and creative strategies to develop the most appropriate solutions for you and your family. Weatherly provides personalized support and financial guidance to the executor/successor trustee and heirs every step of the estate administration process.  Communication amongst your team is crucial to the creation and implementation of your plan, we believe collective expertise through collaboration provides the best result for you and your family.

** The information provided should not be interpreted as a recommendation, no aspects of your individual financial situation were considered. Always consult a financial professional before implementing any strategies derived from the information above.