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Personal Financial Management Should be Learned From a Young Age

Posted by Rachael E. Bator, CFP®

Why Teaching Financial Responsibility to Children and Teens Can Pay Dividends in Adulthood

In the United States, many children and young adults move throughout the traditional school system without any introduction to the world of personal finance. Instead, they learn about money management from various sources, including a parent or trusted adult, friends, television or the internet.

Some children and teens learn about finances from their own experiences, which can be a lot like learning something “the hard way”. But the learning experience doesn’t have to be that way.

A new school year is just around the corner, and while it’s never too early to begin teaching your children the value of money and how it can advance their lives, these lessons become especially important as they reach certain milestones, such as their first job, wanting a car or graduating high school.

These milestone occasions serve as great teaching moments to help your children become financially independent adults.

High School is a Perfect Time to Begin Financial Management Education

High school brings many new experiences and responsibilities that help kids prepare for the real world. Outside of history class, sports practices, starring in the school’s production of Rent, and making new memories with friends, these young adults are also getting their driver’s licenses, potentially working at a part-time job, and applying for college or trade school. Don’t miss the opportunity to introduce important personal finance concepts related to these events.

Teaching children the importance of personal finance and empowering them to make rational and thoughtful decisions can seem overwhelming – and many parents avoid it altogether for that reason – but by breaking it down into smaller pieces, you can give your child a solid foundation on which to build their financial lives, and better prepare them for success.

Teach Financial Lessons Related to a Part-Time Job

While a child in grade school may take on some odd jobs around the house or for neighbors to earn a little spending money, young adults are more likely to engage in part-time work with an established employer to support their spending needs. With this step comes the opportunity to begin making a plan for the money your child is working hard to earn. Organization is key, but with today’s advancements in technology, getting and staying organized can be an automated and seamless process.

Here are some key ways to get your teenager involved in responsible financial management:

Open a Personal Checking or Savings Account

To open a checking or savings account in the United States, the account holder must be 18 years of age or older, unless the account can be opened jointly with a parent or trusted adult. Having a checking account is a great way to help a child to track their spending, because transactions are recorded and saved electronically, generating a statement at month end showing all transactions that occurred in the account.

It can be much more challenging to track spending without a checking account, as your child will need to actively monitor cash on hand, and purchases will need to be recorded manually. Other benefits of a checking account include:

Utilize Online Money Management Tools

Once the checking and savings accounts are open, linking them to a money management website like Mint.com can help your child to get and stay organized. Whether a checking or savings account (or both), a credit card or a loan, transactions are uploaded and categorized in real time. By using the site’s budgeting tool, dollar amounts can be allocated to certain categories, and progress is tracked as expenses in those categories are uploaded into the system.

These types of tools also offer a mobile app that allows your child to review their progress regularly, and even check in on budgets while they’re on the go to help them decide whether they can truly buy that new pair of shoes or video game!

By tracking spending, your child can continue to refine their budget and set realistic expectations, and also make changes to their spending patterns to achieve different goals.

Encourage a Focus on Regular Expenses and “Fixed” Costs

A common financial lesson introduced to younger children is the save-spend-donate rule, where the child is encouraged to divide any money they receive between these three categories. Children tend not to have regular expenses, so this general concept around budgeting and charitable giving is sufficient.

However, a high school student begins to have regular expenses such as fuel (and sometimes auto insurance), food and/or entertainment with friends, or their own cell phone bill. A more detailed budget can help them ensure their expenses are covered and can also show them how much they can save for future needs, which should become an “expense” like any other.

There are two ways to approach budgeting –top down or bottom up:

Your child should also begin to think about how much they’d like to set aside for their savings goals, or unplanned expenses, and include those savings as part of their budget – also known as “paying yourself first.”

After the Financial Management Lessons, What’s Next?

Investing Early for Future Retirement. If your high school student has earned income from a part-time job, they are eligible to contribute to an individual retirement account (IRA), limited to $6,000 or their annual earnings, whichever is less (per 2019 regulations). For those earning less than $122,000 (and filing their tax return as single or head of a household), the Roth IRA is the retirement investment vehicle of choice, especially if tax rates are expected to rise in the future – as young adults can expect as they progress in their careers and increase their earnings over time. Contributions are made on a post-tax basis, and can be withdrawn at any time without taxes or penalties. (Note that investment earnings may be subject to tax and penalties.) Whether your child begins saving for retirement or for another goal, adding a line item to their budget will allow them to “pay themselves first” when allocating their income.

Budgeting for Auto Insurance. If your child has their driver’s license and access to a vehicle, they must be covered under an auto insurance policy. Due to the high premiums applied to policies with younger drivers, young adults may not yet be paying for their own coverage; however, it is still a great opportunity to teach them about the mechanics of an auto insurance policy, like the difference between comprehensive and collision coverage, the importance of liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and the implications of speeding violations and accidents on the policy premium and the driver’s insurability.

Preparing for the Cost of Post-Secondary Education. As your child begins to enter their final year of high school, the college or trade school application process is likely underway. While there are a number of young adults fortunate enough to fully fund their educations, or achieve scholarships to assist with payment, student loans are still an incredibly popular and useful vehicle to fill in any funding gaps. This process is generally a child’s first experience with debt. The loans are applied for and obtained by the child directly, so it’s important to discuss the implications of debt, such as interest, repayment, and how a loan can affect their credit down the road.

Learning Personal Financial Management Lessons for College and Beyond

Once your child turns 18, they are legally considered an adult. And with adulthood comes new privileges and responsibilities that did not exist before, which all feed into financial independence. Owning their bank and brokerage accounts individually, obtaining and building credit, and even creating their own estate plan are all important facets of personal finance that will remain constant throughout their lives. There are several areas in which your child can practice responsible spending and financial management at this point in their lives.

Fostering Financial Responsibility for Life

With so many important changes and developments in a child’s life from grade school forward, teaching responsible management of their personal finances can only result in greater success and better decision-making through their adulthood.

Parents can set an enormous example to their children when it comes to money management, even if just through communication and discussion. Take advantage of opportunities like your child’s first job and car, and of life changes like their post-secondary education and living situation to teach these valuable financial lessons.

You’ve Successfully Managed Your Wealth–What Happens Next?

Posted by Rachael E. Bator, CFP®

Multi-Generational Wealth Planning for a Secure Family Legacy

The first generation of wealthy families can face an array of new challenges when learning how to navigate their lives with their wealth, regardless of how they came into that wealth.

Personal beliefs and biases are generated and reaffirmed throughout one’s life, especially when passed down from the prior generation, and many are forced to redefine their relationships with money when their financial situations drastically change. Some of these key challenges include:

These challenges can take considerable time and energy to resolve, which often deters people from tackling them at all. However, there’s a good argument to be made for resolving these challenges early and effectively, as another primary challenge that is typically presented is repeating a successful family wealth management process with the second generation.

A Little Education Goes a Long Way

No matter the level of wealth, parents’ conversations with their children about money can vary widely–some stick to the same lessons they were taught and lead by example, whether it’s saving as much as possible or living paycheck-to-paycheck, or somewhere in between; some have tried the save-spend-donate jars; some have avoided the conversation altogether.

For wealthy families, empowering the second generation by involving them in the planning process, and giving them the tools needed to make their own decisions, are crucial components to carrying out a legacy.

Estate plans for wealthy families are usually complex–but building knowledge with simple concepts can be a great way to start (or continue) conversations about wealth with the second generation. Budgeting, investment and estate planning basics are all important stepping stones leading to more significant discussions around the decisions the first generation has made. Furthermore, establishing their own estate planning documents and making decisions around their own legacies will feel less overwhelming for the second generation if they already have some experience with it from the first.

As no two children are the same, there is no right or wrong age to begin these discussions–the earlier, the better! If the idea of sharing your financial picture with your children is overwhelming, a trusted advisor may be able to help. Encouraging your children to share their goals, and to voice their opinions, questions, or concerns, will help them feel involved and empowered throughout the process. In fact, it may even help you to build your legacy together with them as you discover common objectives and priorities.

Creating a Philanthropic Legacy for Your Family

In a recent study conducted by Fidelity Charitable, 29% of millennials surveyed (those born between 1981-2000) stated they were “very optimistic” about philanthropy’s ability to solve the issues most important to them. This number is almost double compared with only 15% of Baby Boomers (those born between 1946-1964).

Of the groups donors view as having the most potential to develop solutions and create the changes necessary to solve problems in the future, nearly half of millennials surveyed identified non-profit organizations as having the most impact; more so than public-private partnerships, individuals, social enterprises, and even the government.

For many wealthy families, leaving a charitable legacy behind is a major component of their estate plan – and considering the priority millennials tend to place on charitable giving, it may be a great way to engage the second generation when planning a philanthropic legacy. It’s important to keep in mind that generations may prioritize different charitable causes–and, according to the Fidelity Charitable study, they may also follow different giving trends (such as technological advances, alternative forms of giving, and increased opportunities to connect with peers about giving) which may change how a philanthropic legacy is carried out.

The good news is that there are a number of different avenues a family can take when deciding to make gifts to charity. While private family foundations are popular with high net worth families, donor-advised funds are also gaining ground in the charitable giving space. Family foundations tend to operate according to a mutually agreed-upon mission statement created by the family that guides their charitable activities.

With a donor-advised fund, individuals can set up a charitable giving account with a public charity (like Fidelity Charitable or Schwab Charitable) and make grant “recommendations” to the custodian for organizations the individual supports, using funds in the account. For families with different charitable planning objectives, donor-advised funds can be an efficient solution allowing all family members to support causes they care about.

Investing for Their Future, and the Future of the World Around Them

Along with taking an active role in the first generation’s estate plan (as a trustee, an executor or durable power of attorney, or both) and charitable legacy, another tenet of the second generation’s responsibilities will likely involve investment decisions and asset management. In line with their desire to enact change in their communities and around the world through charitable giving, millennials (and corporations alike) have shifted their investment focus to incorporate impact-investing strategies. More families than ever are looking to incorporate their investment portfolios in their legacies.

Socially responsible investing (“SRI”) focuses primarily on negative screening (such as avoiding investments related to firearms, fossil fuels, or tobacco), while its newer counterpart, environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) investing takes factors into account that aren’t traditionally included in financial analysis, but may have relevant financial qualities.

Said another way, more and more investors are using their portfolios to support companies that have solid corporate structures, but also conduct their businesses using responsible policies that positively impact employees, the environment, and even their communities.

Involving the Second Generation is a Big Step Toward a Secure Family Legacy

Having financial conversations with your children or other family members can be difficult, but it’s necessary for your heirs to understand your goals for your wealth and family, and for them to express their desires as well.

Ultimately, you will have more peace of mind knowing you and your heirs have an understanding of the direction of your wealth. Your financial advisor can help facilitate these types of conversations, and work with your estate attorney and tax advisor to maximize your wealth over generations through proper management.

Allowing the second generation to participate in the investment management process by incorporating their values and objectives can help them to begin feeling accountable and responsible for the family’s wealth, and that the potential impact of their decisions is a reality.

How to Account for Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan

Posted by Rachael E. Bator, CFP®

6 Tips for Helping High Net Worth Clients with Digital Asset Estate Planning

Tangible items like bank and investment accounts, a home, valuable jewelry, and art likely come to mind when thinking about the assets an estate plan should govern. However, if you’ve ever sent someone money using Venmo or PayPal, saved photos or other valuable documents in the cloud, or logged into Instagram or Twitter, you probably have digital assets that should be accounted for in your estate plan.

What Constitutes a Digital Asset?

Almost any type of online activity can generate valuable digital assets. Along with the accounts associated with the activities listed above, digital assets may also include (but certainly aren’t limited to):

Online banking accounts should still be considered as a digital asset; however, a personal representative, beneficiary, or Trustee will usually be able to gain access to the bank account itself without specific language regarding digital assets, whether it be at a physical branch or over the phone. However, it is a best practice to err on the side of caution and authorize access to your online banking accounts through your estate plan, in the event the login information cannot be furnished or the online account cannot be changed or deleted (even after the account has been closed).

 

Updating Your Estate Plan to Account for Digital Assets

Given the relatively new concept of digital assets, along with little to no legislation governing the topic until recently, the majority of estate plans don’t include appropriate language to protect them. Without this language and an actual inventory of these digital assets, personal representatives, Trustees, and beneficiaries can encounter privacy policies and legislation that may prevent access, and subsequently prevent your estate plan from being carried out as you intended.

Digital assets do function like other, tangible property in that they can be passed on to heirs through an estate plan. If your plan doesn’t include protection for these assets, there are a couple of items to keep in mind should you choose to update it accordingly.

 

Digital Asset Planning and the Law – The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act ( RUFADAA)

The federal government, as well as many states, have laws in place prohibiting unauthorized access to private personal information and computer systems (which are expanding to include cell phones, tablets, and other tech devices storing sensitive data.) While these laws were designed with the intention of protecting consumers from identity theft and fraud, they may also prevent a deceased person’s family from accessing their digital assets after they’ve passed away. In addition, online service providers are prohibited from granting access to account information and any stored content to anyone other than the account owner – unless the account owner has deliberately granted consent.

As technology continues to evolve at a rapid place, government legislative measures haven’t always kept up. There has been a marked absence of all-encompassing legal framework around digital assets, preventing trusted agents from accessing a deceased loved one’s digital assets or information. The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which extends the traditional power of a fiduciary to include management of an individual’s digital assets, has already been enacted by 38 states since it was passed in 2015.

Under the law, fiduciaries can access and manage digital property, including computer files and cryptocurrency. However, it still restricts access to electronic communications like emails or social media unless otherwise dictated by the individual – highlighting the importance of including digital asset planning in your estate plan. This legislation does provide slightly more guidance and flexibility for financial advisors and administrators in managing the digital assets of a deceased client.

Digital asset management is still a relatively new yet already complex estate planning concept. While current legislation may be on the right track, it certainly isn’t all-encompassing and will continue to change as the digital world does. Incorporating digital assets into an overall estate plan should absolutely be considered if the goal of the estate plan is to govern and distribute all assets efficiently and completely. Without it, heirs could face challenges that their deceased loved one assumed their estate planning documents would help them to avoid.

Make Your Estate Plan Work for You

Posted by Rachael E. Bator, CFP®

How to Get the Most Out of Your New or Updated Estate Plan

For many people (especially those with prudent financial planners!) estate planning documents are another item on their to-do list–one of the most important pieces of a personal financial plan. But once they’re marked “done,” are they really?

Once created, estate planning documents such as wills, durable powers of attorney, healthcare proxies, trusts and directives (sometimes called “living wills,”) should be reviewed every three years–or after any major life event like a death, marriage, birth, divorce, financial changes, or even after legislative changes have gone into effect. By not doing so, your estate and the direction of your wealth can be negatively and irrevocably impacted.

 

Keeping Your Estate Plan Updated and Effective

Creating or updating your estate plan with a qualified attorney is an important step–­however, ensuring the proper implementation of the estate plan is equally as important. In most cases, your financial planner is directly involved in the estate planning process and can drive the implementation stage to ensure assets are managed in a way that is aligned with your plan. If you’ve completed your estate planning documents, here are a few items to keep in mind when putting your new estate plan to work.

 

Communicating the New Plan or Updates to Others

Think of the people you’ve elected to fill key roles in your estate plan–your executor, your durable power of attorney, your healthcare proxy, a trustee. If you haven’t discussed the role with them before, this is the perfect time. You should educate them on:

You’ll also want to inform your accountant of any changes related to your estate plan that include the use of trusts. Some types of trusts are required to file their own tax return, and some may have investment-related activity that flows to your own personal tax return.

If your doctor (or another medical professional) has a copy of your healthcare proxy and/or any authorizations to release information on file, you’ll want to send them copies of your new documents to ensure they have the most current information on hand in the event of a medical emergency.

 

Opening and Correctly Titling New Financial Accounts

A common estate planning strategy is to hold your personal assets in the name of a revocable trust. Revocable Trust assets avoid probate, and are governed by pre-determined terms that allow for asset management and distribution according to the grantor’s wishes. When moving personal assets to a revocable trust, it’s important to open new financial accounts in the name of the trust (or to update the registrations of existing accounts, if permitted.) While the assets are for your own benefit, you no longer “own” them–you’ll (usually) be listed as the trustee of your trust, and the account owner will always be the trust itself.

If you create an irrevocable trust and intend to fund the trust with financial assets, a new account would be opened in this case to hold title to those assets as well.

 

Retitling Real Estate

There are different types of trusts or entities that can be used to own real estate; however, if you intend to own, or benefit from, real estate held in trust, the local registry of deeds must be notified and the home ownership information must be updated to reflect the trust as the property owner. By not doing so, real estate property may unintentionally be included in your estate at your passing, and become subject to probate that may have otherwise been avoided. Probate assets may be distributed in a manner that doesn’t align with your estate plan.

 

Recordkeeping

While your estate planning attorney will most likely preserve the original versions of your documents and any revisions made through the years, it’s important to ensure that you have the most current version of a document readily accessible to you or your family members in the event of an emergency. If someone in a decision-making role (like a durable power of attorney or a healthcare agent) doesn’t have access to the most current documentation (or doesn’t know that it exists), they may make a decision on your behalf that doesn’t match the decisions you’ve made in your estate plan.

 

Updating Life Insurance Policy Ownership

If one of your estate planning goals is to ensure that life insurance proceeds are kept outside of your estate, you may have created an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)–a trust designed to own and receive the benefits from life insurance policies, outside of your estate. Other irrevocable trusts can be designed to hold life insurance as well. The beneficiaries of these trusts can still be family members, friends, or charity–the life insurance proceeds will pass to them through the trust instead of directly from a life insurance carrier.

The Internal Revenue Code imposes a three-year lookback period on assets transferred outside of your estate for estate tax purposes, which most often applies to life insurance policies, so it’s important to transfer any life insurance policies you own out of your name as soon as possible if you anticipate an estate in excess of the exemption limit ($5,490,000 for 2017). The IRS must agree that you do not have an ownership interest in the policy within three years of your passing.

When it comes to life insurance, relinquishing personal interests in the policy means that the original owner must not have the capacity to change beneficiaries, surrender the policy, access cash from the policy, or determine how the beneficiaries will be paid. They also cannot make premium payments on behalf of the trust. Actions such as these indicate policy ownership and could prevent your estate from receiving the tax benefits your trust was designed to capture.

In order for the ILIT to work as intended, the ILIT should become the owner and beneficiary of any life insurance policies. Once the ILIT has owned the insurance policy for three years, any proceeds yielded from the policy are not included in your personal estate tax calculation. If the insurance policy is not updated, the death benefit amount would be included in your personal estate, and could potentially expose you to an estate tax if the death benefit amount pushes your overall estate value above the exclusion limit.

 

Adding or Updating Account Beneficiaries and/or TOD Designations

Beneficiary designations can be assigned to retirement accounts, basic brokerage accounts, and to some checking and money market accounts in the form of Transfer-On-Death (TOD) designations. It’s always important to revisit these as you review your financial accounts to ensure that they still align with your personal wishes, as beneficiary designations trump any designations outlined in your will and cannot be changed after your passing. You’ll want to be sure to discuss any tax implications of your beneficiary designations with your financial planner or accountant before making any additions or changes.

 

Estate Planning–Not the Most Popular Item on Everyone’s “Bucket List”

The topic of estate planning isn’t always an easy one to think about or discuss. Making decisions regarding the key players in your own estate plan, and how you direct your wealth to your family or to charity can seem like an insurmountable task. When the important decisions have finally been made and your estate planning attorney has accurately captured them in your estate planning documents, integrating your estate plan into your overall financial plan creates consistency and effectiveness when your plan goes to work. By not considering these action items after your estate plan has been created, you will lose the opportunity to direct your wealth in the meaningful and organized manner you intended, and your beneficiaries may lose the opportunity to benefit from and enjoy the wealth you’ve worked so hard to preserve for them.

6 Common Estate Planning Mistakes Made by High-Net-Worth Families

Posted by Rachael E. Bator, CFP®

High Net Worth Estate Planning Tips for Successful Wealth Preservation

Securing your future through a professionally and thoughtfully executed estate plan is one of the best ways to protect yourself, your family and your wealth for years to come.

While estate planning is a necessity regardless of one’s level of wealth, it is especially important for high-net-worth individuals and families – not only to ensure your peace of mind, but also to preserve the high quality of life you’ve worked so hard to attain.

Understanding the proper execution of your personal estate plan is a vital part of the overall process, offering the comfort that comes with knowing your wishes will be carried out effectively while safeguarding your wealth for future generations or charitable bequests. Unfortunately, there are some common estate planning mistakes made by high-net-worth individuals and families that can prevent the successful execution of their estate plans. The good news is that these mistakes can be avoided. Educating yourself about them now can help you to make informed estate planning decisions now and in the future.

The Top 6 Most Common HNW Family Estate Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Leaving Family Members Out of the Loop

One of the major objectives of an estate plan is to provide for your family after your passing. When family members are excluded from the discussion about how family wealth will be used in the future, it can create considerable discord and unrest, especially if you have family members who may not get along. If any of your family members are expected to take on a significant role in your estate plan, it’s also important for them to understand the mechanics of your plan and the expectations of them in their role(s).

While the topic of estate planning isn’t always an easy one to discuss, have an open discussion with your children and all involved family members about your estate plan and the decisions you’ve made. Encouraging them to share their feelings and expectations of your estate plan can potentially avoid any future litigation of the will or trust – and may also raise issues or concerns you hadn’t considered before. Once they’re in the loop, keep them there! Ongoing communication can help you prevent hurt feelings, animosity, and future disputes.

Failing to Plan Family Asset Distribution

While it’s important to consider and include your family in the estate planning process, your plan must be focused on how that wealth will be passed down – determining which assets a chosen beneficiary will receive is only step one. You can be strategic in your estate planning to pass on your assets in a way that minimizes your tax obligations while preserving more of your assets for your beneficiaries.

If you own a family business (and intend to keep it in the family), important consideration must be given to the distribution of these assets to your surviving family members. If some are currently involved in the business but others are not, you may want to distribute assets based on a family member’s contributions to the business, or you may want to divide business assets equally among all heirs. The estate tax implications when transitioning a business ownership interest to relatives must also be considered.

Planning Portions of Your Estate Independently of One Another

High-net-worth individuals may sometimes work with multiple wealth advisors, with each advisor in charge of a different subset of their estate plan. Even though your advisors are no doubt very skilled, a divided team responsible for the same pool of assets introduces an element of risk that may delay or prevent the successful execution of your estate plan.

By working with one team of advisors, not only are your assets more likely to be managed in alignment with your estate plan, but the consistent oversight of your overall wealth plan also fosters a more efficient plan-monitoring process – meaning issues are identified more quickly, leading to timely adjustments that may prevent pitfalls down the line.

Failing to Review Your Existing Estate Plan

If you already have an estate plan in place – especially one created years ago – it’s important to remember that ironically, estate plans are “living” documents. Major life events (such as a death, marriage, birth, divorce, changes in your financial situation, or even legislative changes) could impact your estate and the direction of your wealth.

An outdated estate plan can lead to increased tax (and other) liabilities, or diminished protection of the wealth you’ve worked so hard to secure. It is also another way to create conflict between family members if it is not properly updated to account for relevant changes. Reviewing your estate plan at least every three years, and especially after a major life event occurs, can ensure your wealth is protected in an efficient and effective manner.

Under-Utilizing Trusts

While trusts are often utilized as a primary estate planning vehicle for a number of reasons, they do not constitute a comprehensive estate plan and should not be considered a substitute for a will – rather, they should be designed in conjunction with your will and other estate planning documents to complete your estate plan.

Trusts allow high-net-worth individuals to assign management of wealth to a trustee upon his or her death. This trustee is responsible for distributing the trust’s assets according to pre-determined terms. There are many types of trusts that may help you to carry out your unique estate planning objectives, including trusts focused on charitable giving, providing for those with special needs, and estate tax minimization.

Failing to Select the Best Trustee or Executor

Naming a trustee or executor is one of the most significant decisions you’ll make when designing your estate plan, due to the complex nature of the named individual’s responsibilities. There are several factors to consider when choosing a trustee, including the potential for conflict among family members about the decision, and whether the named individual has the capacity to fulfill the role effectively. Responsibilities for both trustees and executors can include but certainly aren’t limited to opening financial accounts, approving investment decisions, distributing assets, filing tax returns, and of course acting in your best interest, or the best interest of your beneficiaries.

It’s not uncommon for an individual to quickly choose one child or sibling over another, given their relationship, professional occupation, personality, accessibility, or other prominent factors. Open discussions with your family members about these important decisions may solidify your choices, or even surprise you.

If you are uncomfortable with the prospect of a family member or friend fulfilling the role of trustee, you also have the option of hiring a professional trustee who will oversee your trust in a fiduciary capacity.

High-net-worth individuals and families have more complex estate planning needs than others. The tax landscape in which your wealth exists is a complex and ever-changing one. Federal and state estate tax laws also change frequently, and you should be aware of how those changes can impact your estate plan. Communication, careful thought, and technical expertise from qualified estate planning attorneys and wealth advisors are imperative in avoiding these common estate planning mistakes.