October 22, 2021
National Estate Planning Awareness Week was adopted to help the public understand that careful estate planning can greatly assist Americans in preserving assets built over a lifetime for the benefit of family, heirs, or charities.
In honor of National Estate Planning Awareness Week, the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area put out an estate planning-focused edition of their newsletter Giving Guidance. Attorney Jennifer Van Regenmorter was among some of the local attorneys that were quoted for a section of the newsletter on their experiences on what is the most important elements of estate planning.
What are the most important elements of a good estate plan?
"I think building in flexibility and being proactive is key right now. With proposed changes likely to reduce the federal estate tax "exemption," people should review their current estate plans and gifting and tax planning strategies. Many people "collapsed" their separate trusts into joint trusts in recent years to simplify them in light of the current high exemption we've enjoyed, but some will want to modify their trusts to implement tax planning measures in addition to probate avoidance. They should also consider optimizing available gifting strategies."