Estate Planning

We at Summit Investment Advisors believe that having more than just a simple plan in place can save your heirs time, grief and money. Below are a few of the items that we review when putting together your plan.

  • Your wishes for passing on your values (religion, education, hard work, etc.) in addition to your valuables.
  • Your wishes for your care if you become disabled before you die.
  • Identifying a guardian and an inheritance manager for minor children.
  • Review the possibility of providing for family members with special needs without disrupting government benefits.
  • Your wishes for a loved one who might be irresponsible with money or who may need future protection from creditors or divorce.
  • Discuss Life Insurance to provide for your family at your death, Disability Income Insurance to replace your income if you cannot work due to illness or injury, and Long-Term Care Insurance to help pay for your care in case of an extended illness or injury.
  • Plan for the transfer of your business at your retirement, disability, or death.
  • Options for minimizing taxes, court costs, and unnecessary legal fees.

Our belief is that estate planning is an ongoing process, not just a one-time event. We maintain a strong conviction that your plan should be reviewed and updated as your family, financial situations, and laws change over your lifetime. At a minimum it's a factor we discuss with you during our year-end review. We believe it's one of the most effective principles of our approach and in turn one of the most thoughtful and considerate things you can do for yourself and for those you love.

In its simplest definition, estate planning is making a plan in advance and naming whom you want to receive the things you own (your car, home, real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions etc...) after you die. Of course, life is not that simple and neither is estate planning. We at Summit Investment Advisors believe that having more than just a simple plan in place can save your heirs time, grief and a lot of money. Some of things we review with you when putting together your plan:

Estate Planning
Wills and trusts allow you to spell out how you would like your property distributed, but they also go beyond that.

Living Trusts
A living trust can help control the distribution of your estate upon death.

Avoiding Probate
The probate process can be lengthy and complex. There are strategies you can use to help avoid the probate process.

Property Ownership
Sole ownership, joint tenancy, tenancy in common, and community property have special benefits for property owners.

Charitable Giving
To retain the tax advantages associated with charitable giving, your gift must be made to a qualified organization.

Controlling the Distribution
If you haven’t taken steps already, consider planning now for the distribution of your estate’s assets.

Benefits of A-B Trusts
An A-B trust can be an effective way to help reduce estate taxes and preserve family assets for heirs.

Wealth Replacement Trusts
A wealth replacement trust could be used to gift appreciated assets to a charity as well as provide for heirs.

Family Limited Partnerships
One estate planning strategy that families with closely held businesses could consider is the family limited partnership.

Paying Estate Taxes
If you believe your estate will be subject to estate taxes, consider how your heirs will pay the bill.

History of the Federal Estate Tax
Careful estate planning is still one of the most important ways to manage and protect your assets for your heirs.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor. LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.

Read Chapter 6, Preparing for the Final Journey, from our book Summit to Retirement: Finding Success on Your Financial Trek.

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