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Distribution of Estate Assets

Where will your estate go?



Your Assets

1) Family
2) Charity
3) Government (Taxes)


Important Estate Planning

Effective Estate Planning
Can Save Your Heirs Frustration and Financial Pain
The Essentials
Durable (or Springing) Power of Attorney
Beneficiary Designation on Retirement & Insurance Plans
Letter of Instruction
Health-Care Confidential
Personal and family medical history
Health-care Proxy (Power of Attorney)
Authorization to release health-care information
Living Will / Do-Not-Resuscitate order
Advanced Planning
Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs)
Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs)
Note: Beneficiary Designations and Account Titling should be in line with the
overall goals of your Estate Plan.

Important Items to
Last Will & Testament

Trustee and Executor (and successor Trustee and Executor) Selection

Should assets pass to beneficiaries outright or be held in Trust?
Who should serve as guardian of your minor children?

Durable Power of Attorney (POA) & Health Care Proxy (Living Will)
POA gives financial control of your assets to another if you are incapacitated.
Health Care Proxy can make health care decisions on your behalf.

Retirement Plans & Insurance Policies

Confirm beneficiary designations of life insurance and retirement plans.

Letter of Instruction
Document outlines details of estate for use by decedents and executor.

Lifetime Gifting of Assets & Charitable Bequests

Currently $14,000 Annual Gift per Beneficiary
Charitable Gifts can be done during ones lifetime or via Last Will & Testament.

Why Estate Planning is

Risks of Failing to Plan an Estate
Without a Will, assets are transferred in accordance with state intestacy
laws, which may not be in line with your wishes (in PA, surviving spouse

receives $30K plus residual estate, remaining goes to surviving children).

Intestacy process may be lengthy and transfer costs/taxes may be excessive.

Your family may not be properly provided for financially.
You may leave your estate with insufficient liquidity to cover debts, taxes and
final expenses.
Without a Power of Attorney, a guardian will need to be appointed by courts
to handle your assets.
Without a Health Care Proxy or Medical Directive in place, the hospital will
continue to prolong your life, possibly against your familys wishes. Family
members would have to petition courts to override hospital decisions.

Basic Estate Tax Rules

Exemption and Rates Under 2015 Tax
Lifetime Exemption
Lifetime exemption increased to $5.34M per person through 2015;
exemption is schedules to sunset on December 31, 2015.
Lifetime exemption is portable through December 31, 2015.
Top tax rate of 35% is applicable to Estate, Gift and GST Tax rate.

Sample Estate Plan

(Credit Shelter and Marital Trust; With Basket Trust)

Trusts Under Will

Death of First

Jointly Held





Credit Shelter Trust


Marital Trust
(All Income to spouse)

Death of Second Spouse

Basket Trust for Children

Time Youngest Child Reaches Age 30