Your Estate Plan

Don't let the state make decisions for you

One-third of high-net-worth individuals have not taken the necessary steps to protect their wealth and loved ones after they’re gone.

In this video, Head of Wealth Planning Tony McEahern discusses the importance of establishing an estate plan and key considerations to address.

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Transcript: Your estate plan: Don't let the state make decisions for you

Presenter: Tony McEahern, Head of Wealth Planning, Wells Fargo Private Bank   

Benjamin Franklin once said "there are only two certainties in life—death and taxes." And yet one-third of high-net-worth individuals have not taken the necessary steps to protect their wealth and their loved ones after they're gone.1 With more to protect and more to give, it's important that you call the shots on your own estate plan.

It's important for everyone to establish an estate plan. Let me explain why and how your financial professional can help you get started.

Without an estate plan in place, by default, the state may determine how your assets may be distributed. And chances are, your estate won't be distributed in the manner you'd like, potentially leading to family stress and infighting.

If you have minor children, you'll want to make sure you name guardians in your estate plan. This can help ensure your children are taken care of in the way that you wish them to be, should something happen to you. It's not easy to think about making these decisions now, but doing so will allow your wishes to be carried out in the way that is best for your family.

As you develop your estate plan, there are financial, legal, and tax considerations that need to be addressed, so seeking out the right advice is critical. For instance, you may think you don't need to worry about estate taxes because you believe the federal estate tax exemption is high enough, but have you considered how your wealth may grow over the next 20 or 30 years? If Congress changes the tax exemption levels, your heirs may be required to pay more in taxes than you had anticipated. You may want to gift some of your assets to family members or charitable organizations throughout your lifetime without compromising your personal life goals. Working with your financial professional to establish a comprehensive estate plan may help you manage tax exposure and live life to the fullest and protect your assets when the inevitable happens.

Estate planning isn't easy and life is unpredictable, so calling the shots before the state does is so important. If you need an estate plan, contact Wells Fargo Private Bank, or reach out to your Relationship Manager to get started. We'll work together with your legal and tax advisors to create and implement an estate plan so you can feel more confident and prepared for your future.

1 Source: CNBC Millionaire Survey 'Wealthy suffer from 'estate-planning fatigue'', June 29, 2015

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