Let Your Legacy Live On
Estate Planning Questions & Answers
The planning process usually takes four to five meetings. These meetings occur for an hour once a month.
Yes. You will exclusively work with Vince McElligott, FCEP who will take the time to learn your personal goals and objectives and help you develop a values-driven estate plan.
No one from Thompson & Associates will ever ask you for money or solicit you for a gift. Texas State University pays Thompson & Associates a fixed retainer annually to work with faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Texas State.
No, you do not have to make a gift to Texas State University and you will not be solicited. However, if you are philanthropic, you may find the planning process helps in making sure your contribution to Texas State or another charity is structured to maximize inheritance to heirs and use tax-efficient assets for charity.
If you already have an estate plan, we encourage you to ask yourself a few key questions. Has my personal situation changed since I first created and executed my estate plan? Good planning keeps pace with your family’s current realities, such as family structure, wealth, and tax law changes. Here are a few things to consider:
- Marriages, remarriage, or divorces
- No Will or an outdated Will/Trust
- Birth or death of an heir or named beneficiary
- Changes in net worth
- Tax law changes in 2017 and 2019 that can affect your estate
- The concern with taxes due resulting in a loss of value for heirs
- Children are now independent adults
- Lifestyle concerns of children or grandchildren
- Heirs with special needs and/or government assistance
- The reduced or diminished capacity of self or spouse
- Blended families, executor changes, power of attorney documents, Shifting priorities, beneficiary needs, personal or charitable legacy interests
It never hurts to have an objective impartial third-party expert look at your plan at no cost and confirm that it does everything you want. Those completing this process tell us it offered reassurance and confirmation of their intentions.
Many consider an “estate plan” only to be what the Will or Revocable Living Trust may address. We shouldn’t forget those that pass by contract, assets like retirement accounts, and life insurance. Most do not know that pre-tax retirement accounts are taxable to heirs.
First, Thompson & Associates does not take the place of your professional advisor. Second, many professional advisors goal and expertise is focused on asset protection and growth of those assets during your life to ensure your financial independence and help provide for a comfortable retirement. The Thompson & Associates estate planning process seeks to engage you in deeper conversation regarding your values and goals to create an estate plan that perpetuates these values for your heirs. We help enhance and strengthen your current professional advisor team.
In addition, another unique aspect of our process is our desire to ensure that families are prepared for that day when they wake up without a loved one. Part of that includes hand-writing letters to your loved ones to convey your values and beliefs, transferring more than assets but also your values to your family, creating a lasting personal legacy.
Thompson & Associates will provide you a detailed estate plan; however, they will not draft your documents. Consider this an educational journey that helps you make sure the estate plan you create addresses your personal goals and objectives. You will still need to engage your legal or other advisers to implement your plan – this is another way to ensure their independence and plan in accordance with your wishes.