What’s the most overlooked area of estate planning?

Answer: There are actually three areas.

1. Estate Taxes: One of the most overlooked areas is Estate Taxes. Many people believe that because their estate does not warrant a federal estate tax, that they don’t have any estate tax worries. That may not be true as the Massachusetts threshold is significantly less. If your estate is over $1 million dollars a discussion should be had to discuss the impact that the Massachusetts estate tax may have on your estate.

2. Asset Allocation: Another common overlooked area is Asset Allocation. Once your estate plan is completed, you should work on asset allocation to make sure that your estate plan works well with your assets and that you maximize your estate tax credits. This should be done in conjunction with your financial advisor and may involve your CPA, depending on your assets. 

3. Business Succession Planning: An area that is often overlooked is Business Succession Planning. Most owners of family businesses have no plan to address what will happen to their business when (not if) they aren’t around to run it. A proper Estate Plan must work to address not only how business ownership will pass, but also business management.

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