As we all begin to wind down our busy work schedules to take time off during the holidays, you probably look forward to spending quality time with your families.
You will spend many hours with your siblings and parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
You’ll talk about how each of the younger kids are doing at school. You’ll discuss how great your parents’ businesses are doing this year or where they travelled this year if they’re retired. You’ll hear about a growing list of any of your grandparents’ physical ailments.
The Perfect Time to Discuss Estate Planning.
But at Sunstone Trust Company, we believe that this is also the perfect time to talk about estate planning, about your family’s legacy, and about adding philanthropy to your trust.
Here is why:
- There is no better time than the present – An accident, a heart attack, a stroke, or an unfortunate medical diagnosis can happen to just about anyone, at any time. That is why all families should create both an irrevocable trust and a living will for each parent if you do not yet have one. These can help you avoid high estate and inheritance taxes, as well as ensure that your next and future generations inherit your patriarch’s and matriarch’s wealth to keep it all in the family.
- Everyone has a voice in estate planning – When you are speaking to your family over the holidays, don’t be shy. Everyone should be able to share their point of view on how the family’s legacy trust account should be set-up with investments such as stocks, bonds, CDs, mutual funds, property, what charities you’re passionate about, and more.
- Arrange to gift gives to family members – According to the gift tax, you may “gift” anyone in your family up to $15,000 tax-free, up to $30,000 if you’re married, or up to $11.7 million overall over your lifetime to avoid taxation. That’s a lot of generosity and even more tax savings. (As always, talk to your accountant about the details.)
- Philanthropic and charitable trusts – Charitable Lead Trusts (CLTs) and Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs) are both set-up with gifts of cash or other types of property to a named charity. It can receive an income stream throughout the term of either of can help you transfer a portion of your wealth to a charity through your family irrevocable trust.
- Estate Settlement is a new service to consider – Finally, Sunstone Trust Company now provides a high-touch estate settlement service to professionally distribute assets to minimize family conflict in a time of grief. This can be especially helpful when you need an objective third-party to handle this task.
So when your family gets together over the holidays, talk about whatever you like, but remember that family trust planning is as important as ever.