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February 2024 Financial Planning Newsletter

Over the coming weeks, you will hear a lot from us on the topic of Estate Planning. Why? We find that it’s a topic that is uncomfortable for many clients. However, it’s crucial for everyone to have an estate plan; whether you have $300 or $300 million, you need documents in place to guide your loved ones.

Highlighting the essential nature of estate planning, Sunpointe’s entire agenda for the first quarterly Financial Planning Webinar will be devoted to this topic. The Webinar kicks off on March 6th at 12 PM EST. (Link to register

The term “estate” is typically thought of synonymously with “wealth” which certainly has its truths, however, there is a quote that yields truer. “Everyone has an estate plan; some people just choose to control theirs.”

There are basic documents everyone should have put together:
– A Will and Testament: This gives instructions on how to distribute certain assets.
– Healthcare Proxy: This person will work with healthcare professionals to carry out your wishes in the event you can’t make those decisions.
– Power of Attorney: Legal authority for another person to make decisions on your behalf.
– Guardianship: This person will raise your young children.

Trusts:
– Revocable Trusts: These can be changed as often as you would like without the need to notify anyone if you are a “Trustor.”
– Irrevocable Trusts: Much more challenging to make changes freely but has big advantages from a tax perspective.

o Examples:
– Dynasty Trusts: Multi-Generational planning
– Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT): Designed to remove a home from
your estate while retaining the right to use the property.
– Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT): Trust-owned life insurance to reduce
estate tax liability at the time of passing.

We can help provide you with peace of mind by facilitating the completion of these documents and keeping you on track during the process. By doing so, you can facilitate making decisions regarding your livelihood when you can’t act for yourself. It’s about granting a trusted person the ability to look after your loved ones if you are no longer able to be present to make decisions. It’s preparing ahead of time to reduce your tax liability and preserve wealth for generations to come. Importantly, all these discussions carry a level of discomfort which is a driving factor in avoiding the topic, but preparing for the unexpected is essential. Please join us on March 6th. (Link to register) But don’t wait until that date to ask questions if you have them. If you are looking to get a jump start, please talk to us.