The New Estate Planning

Anthony J. Ogorek | Ed.D., CFP®

Anthony J. Ogorek | Ed.D., CFP®

As the 1964 Bob Dylan song intones, “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” This is particularly true in the dismal area of estate planning. Yes, you heard me right. Most people would prefer a visit to their dentist than to an estate planning attorney. Planning for one’s demise is typically not at the top of anyone’s to-do list.

 

Historically, estate planning has been the process of transferring your assets to either a person(s) or charity upon your passing. Although this is still the case, the philosophy behind The New Estate Planning is that you do not have to, nor should you, wait to die before parting with some of your assets. Now isn’t that a novel idea!

 

The New Estate Planning is a response to:

  • Increased longevity.
  • Baby boomer wealth – they are the wealthiest retiree cohort in history.
  • Millennials are in a financial bind due to:
    • College debt preventing them from saving for a down payment for a home.
    • Quality child care costing as much as another mortgage.
    • The cost of college has never been this high.

 

The bottom line is the world many of our boomer clients have grown up in is significantly different than the world their children and grandchildren are facing. Unfortunately, many children and grandchildren of retirement age clients are struggling unnecessarily due to the common perception that serious thought about transferring assets should only happen when they are planning for their demise.

 

The New Estate Planning is an attempt to change the perception of estate planning from a terminal event, to an ongoing discussion focused on what’s going on in your life, as well as the life of your family.

Attorneys are the only professionals licensed to write estate planning documents such as wills, trusts and powers of attorney.  Their limitation is that these documents offer a snapshot in time of your wishes for the disposition of your assets.

 

What if circumstances change with you or with your family? Is calling your estate attorney the first thought on your mind?  Will they be apprised of your current net worth, changes in family dynamics, the status of your financial plan or health developments? That’s where collaboration with a comprehensive planner can be invaluable. Planners are able to review your estate documents and make a judgment, based on the particulars of your situation, when it may be time to make changes to give your estate attorney a call.

 

Traditional estate planning, however, is only a partial answer to the question: How can your assets best benefit your family, without jeopardizing your financial security? Because you have a written financial plan and meet regularly with your advisor, they are in a position to suggest creative strategies for gifting to family or charities without jeopardizing your financial security. On a practical level, clients find the following planning services reassuring as they embark on their estate plan:

  • Offering to meet with them and their estate attorney.
  • Educate them on the in’s and out’s of the estate process.
  • Review their understanding of their estate documents.
  • Plug numbers into an estate plan in order to bring the estate plan to life.
  • Ensure assets are titled correctly and changes to beneficiary designations are made.

 

A collaborative partnership between your estate attorney and a comprehensive planner can provide the best of both worlds; knowing that you have planned responsibly for when you are gone, and continuing to explore opportunities to support causes you believe in and have satisfaction of knowing that you are changing people’s lives for the better.

 

 

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Ogorek Wealth Management, LLC

Ogorek Wealth Management, LLC