Estate Planning Lessons

Lesson One: Your Estate Planning Scorecard

This lesson introduces the subject of estate planning and helps you “score” the effectiveness of your current plans. The interactive exercise illustrates planning areas that may need improvement and the readings offer ideas and strategies.

Lesson Two: Planning a Thoughtful Will
This lesson contains a wealth of information on making and revising wills and includes helpful ideas on choosing your executor (personal representative) and ensuring that special people receive special items from your estate.

Lesson Three: Keeping More of Your Estate
In this lesson you’ll discover the challenges that estate settlement costs pose – especially for those who face state or federal estate taxes. You can do a rough calculation to determine whether your estate will be eroded by “death taxes” and then consider some ideas for reducing or eliminating such tax.

Lesson Four: Trusts for Family Security
Trusts are an ancient tool that can be adapted to a variety of modern planning needs, including avoidance of probate, help during disability, reduction of taxes and assistance for worthwhile organizations – all while preserving family security.

Lesson Five: Leaving Your Mark on Tomorrow
In our final lesson we discuss ways that thoughtful people have included worthwhile organizations in their estate plans, to their immense satisfaction and the great benefit of posterity. Many of these ideas can save considerable taxes for your estate, as well. Of special interest is the concept of leaving “tax-burdened” assets such as IRAs and savings bonds to tax-exempt organizations.