Posted by: Heinz Brisske

In a recent issue of The National Law Review, the authors, McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC, make an important point about the relative importance of estate taxes for most estates. Although, at a 40% flat rate, federal estate taxes certainly continue to be an important planning issue, especially when combined with an Illinois estate tax rate as high as 16%, other issues should dominate the planning for most estates.

That point is one that the Life & Legacy Planning Group at Huck Bouma has been making consistently for a long time. Although estate taxes are certainly an important consideration, they should not “drive” the estate planning process. Planning should focus on issues such as responsible wealth transfer, creating a legacy for our children, asset protection strategies for our beneficiaries, creating an effective transfer strategy, and planning for the continued operation and control of a business after the death of the owner.

Throwing money at our children, no matter their ages when they receive it, generally is not an effective wealth transfer technique. Creating appropriate wealth preservation, asset protection and transfer strategies, and effective legacy planning, can lead to far more satisfying results in the long run.