The goal and benefit of estate planning is peace of mind.  For a more detailed breakdown steps, visit the page on: The 9 Critical Steps in Estate Planning.


Four people hover around a planning board with planning notes







      … is …

A solution puzzle piece fitted in between two problem pieces

having happen what you want to have happen . . . 






. . . and not

A man in in easy chair recoiling in response to paperwork unpleasant surprise

. . . the result being an unpleasant surprise!







Planning . . . .  







    … is …

Peace of Mind

Estate Planning involves 3 Major Elements:

Element #1:  Your objectives.

     Estate planning involves having happen what you want to have happen.  The starting point then is for you to define your objectives.  Estate planning is not “cookie cutter” with “one size fits all.”  It is your estate and your money.  You do not have to have your estate distributed the way “most people do.”  Unless that happens to be what you want!


Element #2:  Your “family”

   Your “family” can mean the traditional family unit, i.e. your children and/or grandchildren.  But it doesn’t have to.  Some clients have no children.  Some clients are estranged from some or all of their biological family members.  Some clients want a portion — or even all — of their estate to go to charity.  Some clients want a portion of their estate to go to a friend.

   The estate planning term is “objects of bounty.”  The “objects of bounty” are who you want to benefit from your estate, if heaven forbid, something happened to you.  It means the persons you feel closest to, which can be traditional family members, but does’t have to be.  Your estate, your money, have it go to whomever you want.

Picture contains 7 subpictures with different family groups

Element #3:  Your assets and net worth.

  The assets and net worth you have is an important element in the planning process.  Estates that are large enough to be subject to estate taxes should look at minimizing estate taxes.  Some assets can have special problems or opportunities, and that should be considered in the planning process.

Assets, money or other financial assets and real estate

What to do with the assembled three elements above: 

 The above three elements are the initial basic “inputs” to starting the estate planning process. Once this information is collected, then the point is to employ estate planning tools and strategies to accomplish the clients’ unique objectives.  Those tools and strategies may include Trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney, Estate Tax specific strategies, and other strategies.  This is just the tip of the iceberg; just for example there are many, many different varieties of trusts.  

To find out more about estate planning strategies click here:

To find out more about deciding between a Trust and a Will:   

To find out more about different Trust Varieties:     

To find out more about Estate Tax Planning: