By John T. Midgett


So many people I have talked with have expressed some concern for my career as an estate planner.  They felt that the increase of the estate tax exclusion to $10,000,000 per person (indexed for inflation it would be $11,000,000 in 2018) would cause estate planning to be a lost art. 


Let me share with you a few reasons to engage in estate planning (that have nothing to do with taxes):


1.   Planning encourages the orderly disposition of assets at death;

2.   Asset protection planning;

3.   Planning for disability or incompetency;

4.   Planning for marital dissolutions (divorce);

5.   Business succession planning;

6.   Charitable giving;

7.   Dealing with IRAs, 401K and other retirement plans;

8.   Avoiding litigation;

9.   Protecting children with disabilities;

10. Managing assets for inexperienced beneficiaries;

11. Protecting spendthrifts;

12. Avoiding probate in Virginia and in states where real property is owned;

13. Providing a means to handle and sell real estate without delay after death;

14. Planning for spouses who are not U.S. citizens;

15. Gift strategies and payment of educational expenses for children and grandchildren;

16. Identifying and naming guardians for minor children;

17. Providing for the surviving spouse in a second or third marriage; etc.


Estate planning is more than just tax planning.  It is the “peace of mind” planning that protects you, your family and your assets during your life and after.


I think that makes for a good career.