Shoemakers With Barefoot Children: What Estate Planners Need to Know About Their Own Planning
Originally posted to Tax Management Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal.
Too many estate planning attorneys are simply living as the barefoot shoemaker. This article won’t introduce planning concepts that are new to estate planners, or that are technically complex. The goal of this article is to motivate you the reader to make an action plan and protect yourself and your loved ones, if you have not already done so (and too many of us have not!). We won’t discuss tax planning, you’re likely expert at that. But we will discuss, the basic insurance protection and legal protection we all should evaluate for ourselves. We’ll vary from the more typical article of speaking in third person and will offer some comments about our personal planning. Not because the authors are models of planning, but rather to emphasize how important these obvious but too often overlooked steps are for all of us. If you’re like us, your planning always struggles with the: ‘‘I’ll get to it as soon as I finish . . . [fill in the blank which likely includes a long list of client matters].’’
Example: One of the authors spoke on a panel presentation a few years ago for a group of estate planning attorneys in New York City about creative uses of irrevocable trusts. At one point in the discussion one of the panelists asked the audience for a show of hands as to how many had irrevocable trusts for their own asset protection planning beyond just a simple life insurance trust. The two speakers raised their hands. No one else did. Why this simplistic story? To emphasize the premise of this nontechnical but perhaps important article. We need to give attention to our planning just as we do to client planning.
To read the full article, click here.
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