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What Financial Advisors May Not Know to Advise You On for Estate Planning


While financial advisors have been overseeing asset management and estate planning for clients for many years, in recent years, new asset types and laws have made it important for clients to consult estate planning attorneys primarily because international law is changing things at such a rapid pace. In fact, some finance professionals may very well overlook very important considerations that weren’t on the radar until just a few years ago. Below, we discuss some of these developments and what it means for modern day estate planning:

Your Heirs May End Up Paying Estate Tax

Keep in mind that the $11.4 million exclusion that applies to heirs having to pay estate tax disappears and reverts back to $5.5 million in 2025. It also may go even lower, meaning that heirs may very well have to pay estate tax. Also keep in mind that retirement assets are both income- and estate-taxable, which can be passed onto heirs.

Funding Your Trust

Remember that, once the living trust is prepared, you still need to fund it in order to make sure that the assets are moved into the trust and you can avoid probate. This also includes changing the title on the assets to the name of the trust.

Life Insurance

You also want to make sure that you check your options before you allow for life insurance to lapse. A number of seniors will sometimes choose to surrender their life insurance in order to pay the estate taxes. However, keep in mind that life insurance as a senior is a lot more valuable as a life settlement transaction. As a result, you should discuss this option with your attorney before surrendering the policy, given that there may be little to no return on investment.

Planning For Digital Assets

Digital assets are also incredibly important part of modern day estate planning. Make sure that you know every single password when it comes to your banking, mobile devices, email accounts, social media accounts, and more. You may want to also consider creating a book to store the passwords.

Keep It Simple

Keeping things simple can also make for smoother transitions. In the past, sometimes a series of trusts might be set up in an effort to reduce taxes, but keep in mind that current laws make it easier for people to avoid the complexity of having to distribute assets into the different legal structures.


A lot of people also decide to donate to some of their favorite causes by leaving a portion of their estate. One way to do this is to name the charity as a beneficiary of your IRA. This can save your heirs both federal and state income tax.

What An Inherited Roth Offers Your Loved Ones

Also keep in mind that an inherited Roth allows for family members and beneficiaries to enjoy tax-free income. This is because minimum distributions start on December 31 of the year after the owner dies. You may also want to pay taxes now if you are in a lower tax bracket than your beneficiaries in order to leave them more in the future.

Trust Protector

Once you pass on, language in your trust is permanent. As a result, you may want to designate a trust protector so that you can make sure that the intent of your trust is carried out as you intended. Not only can a trust protector remove trustees, but they can make amendments to the trust and resolve disputes between trustees.

Contact Our Florida Estate Planning Attorneys to Find Out More

To obtain the very best in estate planning legal advice here in Florida, contact our experienced Orlando estate planning attorneys at the office of Gierach and Gierach, P.A. today.





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