2021 Estate Planning Trends
You may have seen some of our recent posts about potential tax law changes impacting estate planning for many Americans, but here are some other trends and considerations we have noticed when assisting North Carolina and South Carolina clients preparing their estate plans in 2021.
Creditor Protection for Children
Creditor protection has always been a topic of interest, but this year, especially, our clients are engaging in conversations about how to maximize flexibility for their children's use of inheritance, while still protecting the value of their inherited assets from potential future claims by creditors (e.g., in the event of divorce).
2020 was an impactful year for everyone and many families have wanted to revisit and update their estate plans to reflect new life situations. Whether they have welcomed a new child (or pet!) to the family, experienced a divorce, changed careers, relocated, or had an individual previously named in their plan move or become unavailable, our clients are seeking guidance about how their plan should adapt with their changing values and circumstances.
In December 2019, the SECURE Act was passed which made significant changes to the timing and tax consequences of retirement distributions to non-spouse beneficiaries. Our clients are not only asking important questions about how the new law impacts their current estate plan but are increasingly appreciative of our firm's coordination with their financial advisors and CPAs to make sure their intended beneficiaries receive retirement plan benefits in a manner consistent with their values and goals.
We recommend that clients review their estate plans from time to time to ensure their plans still align with their financial and family situations as well as their intentions for crafting a legacy.