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Wealth Management* & Estate Planning Strategies

Wealth Management¹

Spending the necessary time for financial planning can help you ensure your assets are meeting your goals and risk tolerance. Our mission is to promote the long term financial well-being of our clients and their families over time.

Our financial professionals have the experience and expertise to develop strategies to help you achieve your financial goals. The investment offerings our professionals have available, planning guidance and investment solutions can help you make decisions about your retirement, education and other long-term savings goals.

Registered Representatives have access to wide array of investment offerings for you. Whether you're just starting out or looking to make your current savings work even harder, our investment advisers can help you analyze where you are and help you create a plan to help you achieve your long-term goals.

The Cycle of Investing

Understanding the cycle of investing may help you avoid easy pitfalls.

Estate Planning Strategies²

Estate planning has traditionally focused on minimizing estate taxes and directing the disposition of your assets after death. Yet, in today's modern world, managing your affairs has become even more complicated as issues involving health care and personal finances, which can arise during your lifetime, have become increasingly more important.

Estate Management Checklist

Is your estate in order? This short quiz may help you assess your overall strategy.

Legal and Financial Decisions ²

A durable power of attorney grants authority to another person to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf in the event of mental incapacity. The powers granted can be broad or limited in scope. Some decisions a durable power of attorney can assist you with include your personal finances, insurance policies, government benefits, estate plans, retirement plans, and business interests.

Health Care Decisions ²

In the area of health care decision-making, you may recall the Karen Ann Quinlan case. In 1979, the New Jersey Supreme Court granted permission to her family to disconnect Karen's respirator, which her doctors believed was prolonging her life in a vegetative state. The case led to the enactment by various states of Natural Death Act Declarations (i.e., living wills).

A living will generally allows you to state your preferences prior to incompetency regarding the giving or withholding of life-sustaining medical treatment. In most states, you must have a "terminal condition," be in a "persistent vegetative state," or be "permanently unconscious" before life-support can be withdrawn. The definition of these terms and the medical conditions covered may vary from state to state.

A health care proxy allows you to appoint an agent to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event of incapacity. These medical decisions are not limited to those regarding artificial life-support.

Advance directives by durable power of attorney, living will, or health care proxy are generally inexpensive, easy to implement, and should be considered essential estate planning tools for all individuals, regardless of age. In the absence of such documents, court intervention involving a great deal of time, expense, and possibly stress to your family, may be necessary to carry out your legal, financial, and health care wishes at precisely the moment when timeliness and ease of action are of the greatest importance.

Living Wills vs. Health Care Proxies ²

A living will is a set of instructions for a health care provider, stipulating the extent to which measures should be taken (consistent with state statutes) to maintain one's life, should incapacitation render the person unable to express his or her wishes. A health care proxy (also called a health care power of attorney in some states) appoints an agent to make any and all health care decisions, in effect implementing instructions, on one's behalf in the event of incapacity (a life threatening condition, or where the individual is unconscious and a treatment decision must be made).

Since the health care proxy grants decision-making power to a surrogate, its scope is broader than the living will which simply states a person's wishes in the face of terminal illness. The documents may be drawn separately, or the living will may be incorporated into the health care proxy, depending on state law. Both directives come into play only when the principal is unable to make health care decisions for him or herself.

Up until that point, the individual maintains decision-making authority with respect to health care. Usually, an individual can change or revoke both directives at any time. Some states have also enacted Default Surrogate Decision Making Statutes which define a priority of individuals who are empowered to act on behalf of a person who did not execute advance directives prior to incompetency.

Exit Strategies of the Rich and Famous

Estate conservation is too important to put off. Do you have a smart exit strategy?

Other items that need consideration and often work in conjunction with the above mentioned strategies are:

  • Life Insurance
  • Disability Income Protection
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Money Management¹
  • Asset Accumulation¹
  • Wealth Distribution

For more information, contact a professional on our team by calling 800.936.1752.

In order to propose the appropriate vehicle for a client, we must first conduct significant review. Areas of discussion will include:

  • A complete “fact find” review of all Assets and Liabilities; including any ancillary holdings to determine overall net worth
  • Review of current documents; wills, Revocable Living Trust, Health Care Proxy and Power of Attorney²
  • The analysis of proper gifting on a per spouse or per child basis²

This review will provide the benchmark to ultimately determine any and all estate settlement liabilities, but more importantly, the most cost effective ways and means to help meet them.