Your legacy transcends money – it also encompasses your values. Your wishes and dreams may include using your assets to help secure your family’s future or you may choose to support another cause close to your heart.

Five Levels of Estate Planning

The five levels of estate planning is a systematic approach for explaining in a way that you can easily follow. Which of the five levels you need to complete is based on your particular objetives and circumstances.

Elements of an Estate Plan:

  • A will lets you specify your wishes, including how you want your property distributed, who will administer your estate and who will care for your minor children.
  • A trust holds your assets for the benefit of one or more people (you, your spouse, your children). You’ll need an attorney’s assistance to create a trust.
  • Powers of Attorney allow your chosen representative to act on your behalf for financial and health care decisions.
  • Life insurance proceeds are paid to a beneficiary at your death.
  • Gifts are transfers of property made during your life to family, friends, or charity.


Private foundations Public Charities


GRIT/GRATIntentionally defective income trust Personal residence trust taxable gifts.


Family Limited partnership/limited liability company Discounted gifting - irrevocable trust.


Annual exclusion - gifting $13,000/$26,000 (2009) Family income trust


Wills, Trusts, durable powers of attorney, health care proxy cash flow analysis, income tax planning. Guardians, Trustees, executors

Are you ready to start the Financial
Planning Process? Click here for our Financial Planning Questionnaire.