A carefully crafted estate plan can ensure that only your intended heirs or beneficiaries derive benefit from your estate. If you are unable to make a proper estate plan in time, it may also prove to be very costly in terms of heavy taxes. High estate taxes and administrative costs can consume a sizeable part of your estate with very little left to be passed on to your loved ones. This is surely not what you would want to happen to the fruits of a lifetime of hard labor. Estate taxes can be considerable. For 2007, the rate of estate taxation is 45%.

Professionals rendering estate-planning service can help organize an effective plan to let you transfer your assets to your heirs with the minimum of hassles. The plan would avoid needless tax payments and maximize the amount that your intended heirs receive cutting down costs and time. There may be undeserving heirs you would not like to be recipients of any part of what you leave behind. A proper plan can help you achieve this also.

Once you furnish the details of your business interests and other relevant financial information, an estate-planning professional can work with you to prepare your estate plan. These experts have extensive and specialized training focused on estate planning, tax and financial matters. Broad based experience with a solid financial background and innovative thinking enables them to protect your legacy and reduce taxes through a well-conceived estate tax plan appropriate to your individual situation.

As a preliminary step in the estate-planning process, your financial situation is reviewed and personal goals with respect to the estate plan are established. Usually detailed questionnaires along with personal interviews are used to collect the related data. The information sought relates primarily to the family structure and personal philosophy, values and objectives of the client. Realizing that the information shared is very sensitive and private in nature a high level of confidentiality is maintained.

Once the required data has been obtained, it is analyzed and evaluated to prepare a written report outlining your current financial condition and a proposed asset disposition plan in detail.

The report can consist of alternative techniques and strategies to enable estate tax savings and administrative costs that are in consonance with the stated goals. It takes care of the financial and tax analysis, and suggests alternative estate planning measures to be implemented. This allows you to decide what you are comfortable with and would like to implement.

After the direction in which to proceed for implementing the plan is settled, the actual implementation requires extensive documentation and other action to be taken. In view of the parameters of what an estate plan covers, the participation of your investment advisors, insurance advisors, attorney, and some other people in the implementation process becomes necessary. Professionals in estate tax planning would schedule meetings with these people and play an active role to ensure that appropriate professionals take all steps necessary to carry out proper implementation of the plan.

Since each estate plan is highly customized, quality estate planning services also provide periodical monitoring and review of the estate plan. In the face of constantly changing economical and tax regulations that affect your personal situation, appropriate revisions in the estate plan in line with such regulatory changes are accordingly done.

Kris Koonar
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