Child with American flag, celebrating independence

Estate Planning and Independence

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An important aspect of raising our children for Wendy and me has been to teach our children the values of independence, patriotism, and not taking the freedoms we enjoy in this great country for granted. Every year, our kids, nieces, and nephews ride unicycles in a small-town July 4th parade. Wendy and I drive the decked-out side by side as the young patriots swirl around us on their unicycles.
This treasured tradition has helped instill in our children a love for country and for those who have sacrificed so that we can enjoy our freedoms. I don’t think it’s a stretch at this time of year as we reflect on the values of freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that we consider the importance of estate planning.
Estate lawyer and CEO Kent Phelps and his family in their annual Independence parade
CEO and lawyer Kent Phelps in an Independence Parade
Estate lawyer and CEO Kent Phelps family members with their unicycles
Phelps family members with their unicycles

Preserving Your Hard-Earned Freedom

Just as independence empowers us in life, proper estate planning allows us to protect the fruits of our labor, ensuring that our assets are preserved for future generations. By creating a comprehensive estate plan, we exercise our freedom to determine the destiny of our wealth and possessions, providing a sense of financial security for our loved ones.

Protecting Your Loved Ones

Just as our founding fathers sought to establish a system that would protect future generations, estate planning allows us to shield our loved ones from potential financial turmoil and legal disputes. It provides an opportunity to appoint guardians for minor children, designate beneficiaries, and distribute assets according to our wishes. By establishing a clear plan, we relieve our loved ones of the burden of navigating complex legal processes during an already challenging time.

Continuity in Times of Change

Independence Day symbolizes a transition from oppression to self-governance. Estate planning ensures a smooth transition of our assets and responsibilities to our chosen successors, providing continuity and stability. Whether it is passing on a family business, real estate, or sentimental possessions, estate planning allows us to maintain our legacy, keeping the flame of our achievements alive for generations to come.

Avoiding Unintended Consequences

Just as our forefathers carefully drafted the Constitution to avoid unintended consequences, we can take proactive steps to avoid potential pitfalls through estate planning. Without a proper plan in place, state laws and probate courts may dictate the distribution of our assets, which may not align with our intentions. Estate planning allows us to account for contingencies, such as incapacitation or disability, ensuring that our healthcare decisions and financial matters are handled according to our wishes.

Minimizing Tax Liabilities

Another essential aspect of estate planning is the opportunity to minimize tax liabilities. Just as our founding fathers sought to reduce the burden of unfair taxation, we can employ various strategies to mitigate estate taxes and protect the value of our assets. Proper estate planning can involve tax-minimization tools such as trusts, gifting, and charitable contributions, enabling us to make the most of our wealth and leave a lasting impact on the causes we believe in.

Securing Your Legacy

Just as our forefathers fought for freedom and independence, we too have the power to protect our legacy, provide for our loved ones, and preserve our hard-earned assets. Estate planning allows us to exercise our freedom of choice, ensuring that our wishes are honored, our loved ones are shielded from unnecessary hardships, and our legacy is preserved.

Picture of Kent Phelps

Kent Phelps

Attorney, CEO and cofounder of Trajan Estate

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