If you own something, and you love someone, you need a legacy plan. Many people think legacy planning is all about tax planning, but there are many factors to consider. Many also think, "If I don't have an estate over $1M or $2M, I don't need a legacy plan." This is simply not the case. Planning for your end of life, protecting your loved ones, and the assets that you do have is what Legacy Planning is all about.
LEGACY PLANNING 101
When beginning the process of Estate and Legacy planning, gathering all of your existing legal documents is of the utmost importance. These may include:
- A Will
- A Living Will (which is an advanced medical directive)
- Financial Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Depending on the complexity of your estate (which may have nothing to do with wealth), other supportive legal documents may be needed.
All of the above documents and possibly more as needed, should be a part of your planning process. Dixon Financial is here to help you every step of the way, including connecting with our professional Partner Network to achieve your complete Legacy Plan.
TRUST vs WILL
This topic can be confusing. Many times people put off this stage of their financial planning because they don't know which path is best for them. Here are a few important points:
- A trust does not typically provide additional tax advantages over a will. However, a living trust does allow beneficiaries to by-pass probate.
- A Will sets forth instructions for distribution of property and/or assets to beneficiaries, as well as conveying any last wishes.
- Both are binding legal documents.
As your financial advisor, and with the additional advice of an estate attorney partner, Dixon Financial can help you make these decisions.
With proper planning, our clients can often double their legacy tax exemption. The process can seem daunting to retirees, but it can be a meaningful legacy for your beneficiaries. Again, we are here to guide and help you through all the tasks and decision-making.
Dixon Financial can help you evaluate pitfalls in your current plan, make you aware of opportunities you may be missing, and walk you through the many options available to you. Together we can prioritize your goals and implement your plan in connection with an experienced estate planning attorney.