estate planning

5 Key Questions to Answer When Creating Your Will

By Eric P. Rothenberg, Esq. If you don’t want important decisions to be left up to the state when you’re gone, you need a will. If the idea of creating a will feels like you’re tempting fate, think of it as a road map you’re leaving your family, so they don’t have to stress over making the right decisions on your behalf. First, you need to understand the differences between a living will and a last will and testament, usually referred to as a will. These are two different documents that serve different purposes. A living will allows you to state your wishes in the event you cannot communicate and is only effective if you are alive. This is a legal document which outlines which life support services you approve or disapprove of in certain situations and removes the difficulty of such decisions from your children or other heirs. It

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Helping Clients Create Positivity with Their Estate Plan

Posted by Robert L. Arone Many scientific studies have established that there is a wide range of benefits flowing from a positive attitude and positive thinking. At a time when many are focused on worst-case scenarios and gloomy predictions, help your clients resist the pull of negativity and embrace the beneficial results of positivity. This is not just an attempt to make them (or ourselves) feel better in spite of reality, but rather to take full advantage of the proven benefits of optimism. We can develop stronger relationships with our clients by helping them to incorporate positivity into their estate planning: They can increase not only their own wellbeing but also that of their children or other beneficiaries by creating an estate plan designed to promote their loved ones’ happiness, which in turn, will enable them to live healthier and more successful lives. Fortunately for those to whom it does

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Why Does Estate Planning Matter to Your Clients?

Posted by Robert L. Arone In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to a 2019 survey carried out by, 57% of adults in the United States have not prepared any estate planning documents such as a will or trust despite the fact that 76% viewed them as important. Many of the respondents said this was due to procrastination, but many others mistakenly believed that it was not necessary because they did not have many assets. Estate Planning Awareness Week is a great reminder of the need to explain what estate planning is to your clients and why it is crucial for them not to delay putting an estate plan in place, regardless of the size of their estate. What

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Coordinate Retirement and Estate Planning For Improved Client Relationships

Posted by Robert L. Arone Retirement accounts are designed to help make the transition between working and retiring easier. They provide a steady stream of income for retirees who are suddenly without take-home pay for the first time in their lives. These accounts require extra planning and consideration since, unlike other assets your clients may have, retirement account distributions are subject to income tax for the account owner and the designated beneficiary after the owner’s death. It is important that any plans for retirement match up with the plans a person has for their estate. Of course, planning for retirement assets is often motivated by different goals than estate planning because of income taxes. It is critical that financial advisors take the opportunity to talk with their clients about the differences when meeting for a review of their plans. By having long-standing relationships with clients, you have unique insight into

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Planning for Individuals and Couples Without Children

Posted by Robert L. Arone   How to Tailor the Conversation to Their Goals Financial advisors often have a clear path to starting the estate planning discussion when their clients have children, as many estate planning discussions center around clients’ objectives for passing their wealth, properties, and legacy to the next generation. Because of this traditional emphasis on the next generation, individuals and couples without children can easily arrive at the conclusion that they don’t need the same level of detail in their own plans or, worse yet, that they don’t need a plan at all. Nevertheless, there are several ways to help estate planning resonate with individuals and couples who aren’t parents. Reframe the planning conversation You can keep these clients engaged and help them find fulfillment by shifting your message away from discussions about bettering future generations and focusing instead on ways to plan for life, the future,

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