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.