Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of arranging for the transfer of wealth in accordance with your wishes, in a way that allows for a timely and efficient administration of your estate while minimizing taxes. Appropriate estate planning is a key part of high quality financial planning.

Estate plans run the gamut from non-existent to off-the-shelf to thoughtful. We strive for a thoughtful plan tailored to you. Our goal is to see that every client we work with has an estate plan that is carefully thought out and documented to reflect his or her particular situation and wishes for passing on wealth.

Achieving a thoughtful estate plan involves four steps—thorough planning, proper documentation, necessary follow-up, and periodic monitoring. We can manage this entire process for you. While estate planning is not necessarily something any of us looks forward to doing, the process, if properly carried out, can be a positive and enlightening experience. And when you are done, you will have peace of mind knowing you have a structure to transfer your wealth in an efficient and tax effective manner. Let us save your spouse and/or children the sometimes onerous burden associated with settling an estate—at what is most likely a difficult time for them.


We first gain an understanding of your financial position, your family situation, and your planning objectives. As your wealth managers, we will know your financial situation and will keep your personal financial statement current. Starting with this, we then meet with you, as many times as it takes, to fully understand what you want to accomplish with your estate plan. We ask many questions and we listen.

  • Is providing for your spouse your main priority?
  • Is this your first marriage?
  • Do you have health concerns?
  • Are there children from a previous marriage?
  • Are your children prepared to manage significant wealth?
  • How would a large inheritance affect your children’s lives and ambition?
  • Are your children’s marriages strong?
  • Should each child’s inheritance be structured differently?
  • Are you concerned about creditors?
  • Do you want to provide for siblings, parents, or friends?
  • Should trusts be utilized?
  • Are you worried about probate?
  • Do you have charitable intentions?
  • Who are appropriate trustees or personal representatives?

We overlay your answers with appropriate techniques to minimize estate, gift, and income taxes. The result of these meetings is a carefully conceived, personalized estate plan reflecting your unique wishes for leaving a personal and financial legacy—all while minimizing taxes.


Next, we see that your estate plan is properly documented. For this, we consult with your attorney (if you don’t have an attorney, we will help you select one with the right expertise for your situation). We attend planning meetings with you and your attorney, review draft documents, work with you and the attorney to resolve any issues that arise, and attend the signing meeting.


Once the estate plan is finalized, there remain necessary follow-up tasks that are often overlooked. We continue to work on your behalf, tying up these loose ends. We make sure your assets are properly titled, retirement plan and life insurance beneficiary designations dovetail with your documents, and your revocable trust, if you have one, is fully funded.


The estate plan is signed, the follow-up tasks complete. We, however, are still here for you. We deliberately and frequently review your estate plan to ensure it is still appropriate and reflects your wishes. Tax laws are enacted, families evolve, and your net worth may change. These events often lead to different planning goals. Our periodic monitoring safeguards your interests.