Estate Planning

For the very wealthy, the assets you accumulate during your lifetime may be subject to estate taxes and, depending on the state in which you reside, may be payable at both the Federal and State level. That said, while minimizing taxes is important, it is not the driving force for planning your estate. The simple fact that failing to plan your estate could cause your estate to be distributed in a manner that is not consistent with your objectives is the most compelling reason to plan your estate.

Why an estate plan will protect the distribution of your assets:

  • In absence of a Will, the state in which you reside determines who receives your assets in the event of your demise.
  • You decide who receives your assets and what percentages.
  • If you have minor children, you, and not the state, select a guardian for your minor children.
  • You are able to name trustees, if necessary, to assist family members or other beneficiaries in managing their assets.
  • If all your assets (with the exception of retirement plan assets) are titled in joint name, you may be unnecessarily subject to estate taxes.
  • If you have children from a previous marriage, you can make certain that you do not disinherit your children or spouse/partner.
  • If you have a sizable amount of assets in retirement plans, i.e., 401(k), profit sharing plans, IRA Rollovers, it is imperative that you review your estate planning since your Will does not determine who inherits these assets.
  • If you have charitable intentions, you will need a Will to make special bequests to charity.
  • If you have a business, you can develop a business succession plan.
  • If you have a business, you can address issues such as “estate equalization” if one child is active in the business while others are not.
  • If you have a taxable estate, you can develop strategies to minimize Federal Estate Taxes.
  • If you have a taxable estate, you can make sure that your estate has sufficient liquidity to pay the taxes so that the family business and/or real estate does not have to be sold.

How can the estate planning team of Lane Hipple be an invaluable resource in helping you plan your estate?

  • We help you determine your net worth by taking inventory of your assets and liabilities from which we develop your personal financial statement
  • We identify how each asset is titled, i.e., individual name or joint tenants with rights of survivorship, tenants-in-common, etc.
  • We review beneficiary designations to ensure that they are consistent with your dispositive intentions.
  • We establish your objectives in terms of what is most important to you and your family.
  • We consider various options such as gifting strategies and various types of trusts and partnerships.
  • Review IRA Distribution Planning.

If you find that your IRA represents a disproportionate amount of your estate, Thomas A. Lane, Jr., ChFC, CFP®, is a noted expert in the area of IRA Distribution Planning. He has been trained by the nationally acclaimed expert in IRA Distribution Planning, Edward Slott, CPA.

Whether you are an executive, private business owner, professional or a retired individual, you are most likely a candidate for an estate planning review and analysis. If you are interested in learning how we can help you with your estate planning, please email us at or give us a call at (856) 638-1855.