A typical estate planning attorney will focus on legally documenting your final wishes and reducing estate taxes. They might develop a flowchart that shows complex trusts and in - depth descriptions of these items. Most will ask if you are charitably inclined, and if so arrange for the use of charitable donations to reduce estate taxes with some of the many tools mentioned above. Commonly, whatever is left over will be divided among the heirs, and most likely includes provisions for younger recipients. An estate attorney is a very important part of our process and having a good one is essential, but it’s not the place to start. Estate Attorneys get paid for drafting complex legal documents that will be executed the way you want after you are gone. They do not usually have a vested interest in spending many hours with you discovering the unique nuances and tapestry of your family.
First things first...
We help you establish answers to many important questions first, such as: How much is enough for our children ? How do we transfer our virtues and a legacy of faith to our heirs? How do we prepare them for their inheritance? How do make sure their inheritance a blessing, not a curse? If they are not prepared, how do we help them become prepared? When we start with questions like these and then use that knowledge with the creative combination of over 95 different planning tools available, the result is always dramatically different. In most cases we reduce estate taxes to zero , eliminate capital gains taxes and reduce income taxes . We also commonly expand the total value of the estate and what can go to heirs, although many of our clients choose not to increase this amount unless it supports a specific purpose . See some of our actual before and after results here.
For all families, it is important to discover all the aspects of successful wealth transfer and develop a plan that not only satisfies your financial desires but relational and spiritual desires as well. Some clients might ask – “Why do we need Joseph S Sturniolo & Associates if we know our virtues and values and we can express these to an estate planning attorney ourselves?” One of the biggest mistakes families make in creating an estate plan is keeping it a secret until the heirs are left hearing the results in an attorney’s office or through written letters. It is too late then to reconcile broken or strained relationships amongst family members and misses an invaluable opportunity to share and nurture wisdom and your legacy.
A static plan doesn’t work... you have to continually update and assess...
Many clients who have used our unique planning process have actually done an estate plan before, but in addition to the relational and virtues aspect it was missing, it just sit s on their shelf. Our process is ongoing and maintained yearly. It includes important legal and financial updates and family meetings where we strategically help you reveal your plan with your heirs and share with them the decisions you’ve made. We continually update and benchmark the goals that are set up at the beginning of the process and help you move toward achieving them.
We have been told time and again the experience with Joseph S Sturniolo & Associates is revealing, impactful, healing, and enjoyable. To learn more about our estate planning process visit us here.
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