Weekend Reading: 4 Key Questions in Estate Planning

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading key estate planning questions Weekend reading key estate planning questions
Weekend Reading

No matter your asset size, estate planning is vital if you have specific wishes in regard to the passing of your wealth and possessions.


As you go through this process, four primary questions you should address include:

📌 To begin: Do I need an estate plan? Your assets don’t automatically go to family members. As such, you need a will, power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney to avoid confusion and unintended costs.

📌 What assets will I transfer? Create a comprehensive list of assets that consider tax implications and potentially set up trusts for wealth preservation to avoid probate.

📌 When should I transfer assets? Consider the pros and cons of transferring assets during your lifetime or as an inheritance, factoring in components such as financial needs, potential gift taxes and the step-up in basis.

📌 How can I communicate my plan with my family? Open and transparent communication about your wealth transfer intentions can help prevent family conflict and allow your beneficiaries to prepare for inheritances while considering individual circumstances and tax implications.

You need an estate plan, but beyond that, you need to be proactive with your estate plan. Your financial circumstances will change over time, thus so will the most efficient way to transfer your wealth.