Estate Planning

The Ballast Atheneum is a collection of our thoughts on the twelve most important topics in financial planning. Today, the focus is on Estate Planning.

Estate planning is no longer reserved exclusively for the ultra-wealthy. An estate plan is an integral part of any sound financial plan. Whether it’s a last will, a simple testamentary trust, or a multi-generational multi-trust plan, an estate plan is a tool for people from many different financial walks of life. The following articles discuss several of the many benefits of an estate plan.


What Comprises a Sound Estate Plan?

Why do we work, save and invest for the future? Obviously, we do so to achieve financial security. But without a sound estate plan, this financial security will vanish for the most important people around you if something unforeseen occurs. A proper estate plan should be comprehensive in its direction of all financial assets and in coordination with the personal wishes you have. These desires include bequests to family, protecting access to funds for children, and charitable donations, just to name a few. Update your plan.


Charitable Estate Planning – Remainder Trust or Charitable Lead Trust?

Charitable estate planning can range from simple annual gifting to complex strategies that involve tax and trust planning which play out over decades. With such a wide scope, it is important to have a firm grasp on your goals for charitable planning.  How can charitable giving help you?


Does Trust Planning Affect Your Retirement Assets?

Trusts are formed to address numerous concerns and come with varying levels of complexity. Reform over the past few years is a good reason to review how trust planning affects your retirement assets. A trust allows the grantor to put conditions on how certain assets are distributed.


Should I Go Through the Probate Process?

In its simplest terms, probate is a legal process that occurs after someone dies. While going through probate may appear daunting and overwhelming, with proper guidance, the process can be quite easy. Let’s demystify probate.


What are the Benefits of a Simplified Estate Plan?

Sometimes it is best to simply put a plan in action (as best as one can) and then continue to monitor it as time passes. This is especially important with young children or financially challenged beneficiaries. Remember a “good” plan is better than no plan at all. Do you think your plan is too complicated? Click here.


How Does Risk Management Fit into Estate Planning?

When thinking about estate planning, most people think solely about how their assets will be distributed at their death. In each of our lives, there are risks that must be considered and therefore planned around. Read about Risk Management here… 




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