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Estate Planning - What’s the Difference :: Knowledge Center :: THE RETIREMENT SOURCE®
Estate Planning - What’s the Difference

Estate Planning

Fine Tune Your Plan

We believe in a strategic approach to estate planning. We prefer to think of it as succession and legacy planning. This is what we call Personal Values-Based Estate Planning, which uses specially developed tools and techniques to help clients consider a wide array of planning options and strategies for their legal and tax advisors to consider.

Assuming you are one of those who already has an intentional personal estate plan in place, but concede that it might be in need of revision, the question becomes how you begin to transform it. The whole area of estate planning is so incredibly complex that it is easy to get caught up in "analysis paralysis”. If you try to build a perfect plan in one stroke, you are very likely to never complete it at all. That is why we believe it is more productive to assume from the outset that you are likely to make several revisions over the years.

Taking this approach will assure that you have the essential pieces in place while you are preparing to fine-tune your plans over time. The first step is to make sure you are clear as to exactly why you are putting a plan together and what you hope to accomplish. Then you need to review your current documents and plans to make sure you have all the fundamental issues covered right now. Before going into great depth in your personal values-based planning, it is useful to ask yourself several important values questions to determine your preparation for the here and now, your later life and your ultimate distribution.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. When you examine your life - where do you prefer to spend your time and your money - what people, activities and institutions come to mind as having special importance?
  2. When you think about your loved ones’ future, what worries and concerns do you have?
  3. What specific present circumstances and potential future events concern you the most (e.g. medical costs, taking care of special needs children or parents, retirement income, outliving your money, long term care expense)?
  4. Do you feel your present financial and estate arrangements fully address all these issues?
  5. If there were no restrictions of any kind, given your current resources, what changes would you make right now?
  6. What other changes would you plan to make at a later date when your long-term financial picture was clearer?
  7. What do you want Your Family Legacy to be?
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