Six Important Planning Points

Planning Point Number One: Title You Can't Plan What You Don't Own

Estate planning begins with knowing how property is titled. Most clients are shocked to find that they have lost control of most of what they thought they owned.

Planning Point Number Two: The "Box" Beneficiary Designations Don't Work

An incredible amount of estate planning is accomplished by filling in beneficiary designations. Unfortunately, most beneficiary designations create planning havoc and take control from a client.

Planning Point Number Three: Wills They're Not All They're Cracked Up to Be

Wills are the traditional planning method. But they simply do not work as well as many planners would like to believe, once analyzed and explained.

Planning Point Number Four: Disability Planning- The Groucho Marx Story

For the most part, estate planning for the client is predicated on death planning. Lifetime planning is largely ignored. The Groucho Marx story graphically illustrates why lifetime planning is such an important part of estate planning.

Planning Point Number Five: There Is a Better Way: Solutions/Benefits

The Definition of Estate Planning. An overview of trusts in general and how they work. Such trusts include the revocable living trust, marital trust, bypass/family trust, and irrevocable life insurance trust. Make sure your documents are coordinated with and consistent with each other.

Planning Point Number Six: People-Centered Techniques

Helping clients design their own estate plans is the heart of the people-centered estate planning. Personalized, pleasant, and effective estate planning transcends drafting documents. It does not mean deciding which boiler plate form should be taken off the shelf for a given individual. "Form" planning is boring for the estate planning attorney and it is a disservice to the client. After all, we are all unique and have our unique sets of circumstances, dreams, fears, and aspirations. Estate planning in part involves helping people articulate their unarticulated dreams and aspirations.

This information was prepared by Lena Barnett & Associates, LLC and is intended only to provide general information. It is neither offered nor intended for use as legal advice, nor is it a substitute for a consultation with an attorney.

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