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The Impact of Proper Estate Planning On Wealth Management Strategies

There are many reasons people may avoid estate planning. At Cook Tillman, we understand that information can be a difference maker that eases a family's apprehension about constructing an estate plan. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions we get regarding the relationship between estate planning and wealth management, and what this all means for your family’s financial future and well-being. 


What is the core relationship between estate planning and wealth management, and how does proper estate planning align with broader financial goals?


Proper estate planning and wealth management involves the comprehensive overview of someone’s finances, income, and insurance needs. Essentially, it is a reliable foundation that ensures your wealth goes where you intend for it to. Only a limited portion of what we do at Cook Tillman affects current finances –we tend to look towards the future, ensuring that your spouse and the next generation are taken care of and can keep as much as possible.


How does strategic estate planning aid in minimizing tax liabilities and optimizing the distribution of assets to heirs and beneficiaries?


We have tools to reduce income tax, some of which may involve charity planning or addressing a liquidity event when someone sells a company. If someone has a taxable estate, there are a few options. First, a client may choose to do nothing and let the estate pays the tax. Since the tax is due within 9 months of death, however, many client opt to provide a pool of liquidity in the form of life insurance policies to pay the tax. Other solutions include charitable giving tools such as charitable lead annuity trusts created upon death structured to reduce estate tax liability to $0. Each state’s laws are different, and there are unique aspects to Tennessee Trust Law that allow us to do income tax planning for spouses while both are alive. Working with Cook Tillman provides access to reliable, trustworthy advocates who will provide answers to questions like these that you may not think to ask. 


In what ways does estate planning provide a safeguard for family businesses, and how does it influence effective succession planning?


For family businesses, having a proper estate plan in place ensures the ownership of that business ends up in the hands they intended to. Fairness is considered throughout this process; there are often multi-generations or multiple stakeholders within the same generation that are involved, and we want to make sure everyone can stay active and present in the business without leaving others in the cold. We work with financial advisors very closely to achieve this equity. 


What role does professional advice play in crafting and implementing a successful estate plan, and how can individuals leverage expertise in wealth management?


Discussion of estate planning matters is often one of the touchstones of a financial advisor's annual client meeting. However, many people never get a concrete estate plan in place because they don't know where to start. One of the most common comments we hear from clients is that they “hadn’t thought about” an aspect of estate planning that we introduce. Our team has over 50 years of experience in estate planning, and after seeing hundreds of unique family scenarios, we know what questions to ask. Working with experienced lawyers means that you will benefit not just from our knowledge, but our years of experience implementing that knowledge in the field.


How can individuals periodically reassess and update their estate plans to ensure ongoing alignment with evolving financial goals and family dynamics?


It is wise to check in with an estate planning attorney every three to four years, as tax laws and guidelines change often. Routine review helps address issues before they snowball into a broader problem. We like to think of maintaining an estate plan like maintaining any other tool in your life. Changing HVAC air filters and the oil in your car ensure their proper function. In the same way, you want to stay ahead of issues and stay informed about your financial health. That way your loved ones will inherit a thriving and solid estate and financial roadmap that Cook Tillman can guide them through in the years to come. 


Estate Planning For Now & The Future


While planning for the future may seem intimidating, proper preparation can make a world of difference in difficult times for your family. Our team recognizes the gravity of the trust placed in us when you choose us for estate planning, which is why we will go out of our way to help you and your family now and in the future. We are stewards of legacy. We are Cook Tillman. Contact us by phone at (615)-370 2444 or via our website to begin your journey with us today.

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