A proactive estate strategy will place you – not state law or courts – in control of decisions about the care of your children, your assets and your health care.

 

Whose strategy do you want – yours or the state’s?

Without an established estate strategy, the laws of your state become your “strategy” by default, which may not align with your desires. Every state has statutes dictating where assets will be passed after a person’s death, how to handle the decisions of an incapacitated person, and how the court will select a person to be in charge of these decisions. 

 

Engaging a fee-based trust company

Strict federal and state laws govern the implementation of trusts, requiring trustees to perform certain duties for investments, administration, communication, accounting and confidentiality. Some individuals may want to delegate these legal responsibilities to an outside entity, such as a fee-based trust company, rather than maintain them or pass them along to a family member. 

 

It’s about control

Ultimately, developing an estate strategy is not merely about wealth. It’s about putting you in control of your legacy, ensuring the items most important to you are cared for as you intend. 

 

Understanding trade-offs

Estate planning often will require you to prioritize your goals and make some trade-offs. For example, there is often a trade-off between strategy simplicity and level of control. 

Transfer on Death agreements and beneficiary designations are often simpler to implement but offer little control over taxes and/or the beneficiary’s use of funds. If you want more control over these items, trusts may provide more options. 

Establishing your estate is simply not something that can wait – by taking the time to prepare now, you can help ensure some comfort for the future. 

The Edward Jones Trust Company can help you determine your estate and legacy goals, both personal and financial. 

Additionally, we will work closely with your financial advisor and other estate and tax professionals to develop a comprehensive strategy for your situation and goals.

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