Many, many years ago the standard meeting with an estate planning attorney would go something like this…
- Tell Me About Your Children?
- How Do You Want Your Assets Distributed to Your Children After Death?
- Who Do You Want to Serve as Executor?
- Tell Me About Your Assets? I Want to Make Sure That Your Estate Does Not Pay Any Taxes?
- If You Become Incapacitated or Incompetent, Who Do You Want Making Your Financial and Healthcare Decisions?
- Do You Want to be Kept Alive on Live Support at the End of Your Life?
That was pretty much it.
However, every discussion about estate planning should go much deeper than that and should always include legacy planning. When I speak with clients, many times they want to focus on saving taxes or saving from probate fees. However, with the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the exemption rising to $11.2 million, the need to plan for the avoidance of estate taxes is simply no longer a concern for many families.
Although, legacy planning should be a concern for every family.
I am a strong believer that in order to be good stewards and good parents, we should all be concerned with legacy planning. We should be planning for something more important than ourselves. We should be planning to leave a true legacy that will benefit not only our children and grandchildren, but many generations to come.
When it comes to leaving a legacy, it is not just important what assets you leave behind, but how you leave those assets behind. For instance, will the assets you leave behind be structured in the most tax efficient manner for your children so that they are not paying any unnecessary income taxes? Will the assets that you leave behind be subject to loss due to your children’s divorcing spouses, creditors, lawsuits, or other predators? Are you leaving a final statement of instructions, or even a video, that details all the values that were the most important to you during your lifetime that you wanted to make sure is passed on to your children and grandchildren?
When it comes to leaving a lasting and true legacy, these are the items that we assist clients with every single day. We help clients structure their assets so that the wealth they leave behind continues to benefit their children, grandchildren, and for generations to come.
If you are thinking about estate planning for the first time, or if it has been several years since you written your will and believe it is now time to engage in true legacy planning, contact your Nashville, Tennessee estate planning attorney, Dan Perry, for an initial planning session at (615) 472-2482.