The material found on this site is for general information only. You should consult your attorney and qualified tax professional for advice on your particular situation. Concepts included on this site dealing with federal estate tax issues may not be the most acceptable or best option for your situation.
What is estate planning?
Effective estate planning means developing a plan that will achieve your goals as the estate owner while you're alive and after your death. It's an ongoing process that involves the creation, conservation, and distribution of property.
An estate plan can be as simple as having a will and life insurance, or it could use trusts, business continuation plans, charitable arrangements, and other elements.
What goals can an estate plan address?
- Provide cash payment for estate expenses including federal estate tax.
- Provide income to family members after the estate owner's death.
- Provide for the disposition of a business at death.
- Distributing assets to family members and other heirs in a tax efficient manner.
- Aid in financial planning for an individual with special needs.
Who can help me with my estate plan?
Depending on the complexity of your estate plan, you may want to establish an estate planning team.
Attorney: The attorney should be one who specializes in estate planning. It will be the attorney's role to draft legal documents such as wills and trusts and provide legal advice.
Tax Advisor or Investment Professional: The tax advisor or investment professional likely knows a lot about the estate owner's financial affairs. They can help the attorney develop a plan consistent with the owner's goals.
Insurance Agent: The insurance agent provides guidance into the estate plan and how much and what type of insurance should be considered to meet the estate owner's liquidity and survivor income needs. Life insurance can be used to preserve an estate (liquidity needs), and just as important, it can be used to create an estate (funding a special needs trust).
Trustee: The trustee's duties include conserving and managing estate assets. The trustee helps set up and maintain trust arrangements according to a trust document prepared by the attorney.
Neither State Farm® nor its agents provide tax or legal advice.
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