An estate plan completed by a law firm, by itself, is simply the legal documents that are drawn up to make sure your wishes are valid when you become incapacitated and when you die.
However, an effective estate plan should be part of your overall retirement plan and wealth management plan.
When our clients want to make sure their estate plan is seamless with their retirement plan, income plan and tax plan, we work with Franklin Retirement Solutions, a firm that specializes in retirement planning. Together, we can make sure all of the pieces of your plan fit together.
Here's just one of many examples of how a "piece meal" plan can go wrong: Client X has a financial advisor, who doesn't know the estate planning attorney. Client X has a special needs child. Client X asks attorney to protect assets for the special needs child, and attorney drafts both a will and sets up a special needs trust. Client X dies, and estate realizes that assets were not allocated properly (as a special needs child, putting assets directly into this child's name is a really bad idea). Client X's financial advisor was not aware of rules for special needs persons that are on public benefits. As a result, Client X's son almost lost his public benefits.
By combining your financial planning and estate planning, your plan becomes a lot more effective. Most of our clients love having access to a financial planner, tax planner, Medicare supplement/Long-term care insurance specialist, and more.
To summarize, here are a few advantages of planning with this approach:
- All parts of your plan work together
- Ensures your plan will be reviewed and, if needed, updated more often
- Provides a more seamless transition to your heirs, since your affairs are in order.
We find that this type of planning is extremely beneficial to middle class clients. To learn more about our comprehensive approach to estate and retirement planning, please give our office a call today at (215) 706-0200.