A client with two children from a previous marriage, and his wife with three children from her previous marriage came to Capital Strategies for financial planning. We discovered through our financial planning process that their estate distribution objectives would not be met with their existing wills.
Among the problems, was a provision in the client's will that, upon his death, 10% of his estate be given to their church, another 10% to his alma mater, with the balance to his surviving spouse. Since their combined estate was in excess of $2 million, he assumed that this would represent a substantial gift to their church and his college.
Problem: Through our comprehensive analysis, we were able to demonstrate that these combined gifts to the church and college would amount to less than $10,000. This was not what he intended!
The client failed to recognize that his will controlled only what he owned personally and that 95% of his assets were controlled by beneficiary designation (his 401(k), IRA's, life insurance) or controlled by deed, such as jointly held property.
Strategy: We worked with their attorney to revise the wills to meet the client's objectives.
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