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This is the second blog in a four-part series that focuses on estate planning.
One of the goals of estate planning is to maximize the value of the wealth you pass to your family members while minimizing the impact of taxes through trusts. However, an equally important objective is determining what these trusts should provide—and what that means for your family. If you’re unsure where to start, answering some basic questions can help facilitate the planning process.
To answer this question, it’s helpful to consider who you wish to provide for now and in the long-term, and how much access to your assets you would like your beneficiaries to have. Specifically, this may involve asking yourself:
It’s a good idea to put plans in place in the event neither you nor your spouse is around to manage the distribution of your assets or care for surviving family members. Questions for consideration include:
There are various methods for administering your assets, whether they include tangible and real property, trust income, or trust principal. To determine the best method for your family’s circumstances, helpful questions to ask may include:
Planning for the distribution of your wealth can be a daunting and overwhelming task. If you begin with the end in sight—how you envision your legacy and your family’s future—it’s often much easier to then determine the best way to get there. For more information, visit our Estate Planning Fundamentals resource page.
Becky Milliman is a senior wealth strategies professional and fiduciary representative for CIBC Private Wealth Management in Chicago, with 19 years of industry experience. In this role, she is responsible for the development of integrated wealth management plans for clients and provides the fiduciary administration for individual trusts and foundations. She also sits on the firm's Trust Discretionary Committee.
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