Most people associate the phrase "estate planning" with having a will – a legal document that names your beneficiaries and spells out who gets what when you die. And while the transfer of your assets is an important part of estate planning, a will or a trust is just one aspect of a broader estate planning strategy to ensure your wishes are known, honored and carried out as efficiently as possible when you're no longer able to articulate them.
We work with a team of estate planning experts at Northwestern Mutual. Together, we can help you develop an estate planning strategy that may include the following:
- A strategy to help reduce or eliminate gift/estate taxes for your heirs
- A plan to protect your estate from mismanagement or from claims of creditors or ex-spouses
In addition to the expertise our team can offer, you'll want to work with an estate-planning attorney to establish:
- Health care directives and a living will that specify the extent to which you want health care professionals to treat you if you become ill or incapacitated.
- Powers of attorney that grant people you trust the legal authority to act on your behalf in case of sudden accident or illness.
- A will or trust to ensure your assets are transferred according to your wishes. And Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company can serve as trustee, co-trustee or successor trustee in a wide range of situations.
- The naming of a legal guardian for children under the age of 18.