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Planning Your Estate: It’s Not Just About Taxes

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.

Written By John T. Midgett


John T. Midgett is a Shareholder in the Law Firm of Midgett Preti Olansen. His practice is concentrated in the related areas of estate planning, administration and taxation, estate and trust litigation, and family business planning.

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