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Estate Planning in a Fickle Economy with Numerous "X Factors"

As Mark Klimek writes in The Wall Street Journal, "Sometimes, when the picture is cloudy, the smartest investment move is to do nothing. But that's not the case with estate planning."

In some cases, waiting out the storm is either the best option or one that's not any more damaging than any other. You ride the economy for a while, see where things are headed and then move your pieces to the spots you find most appropriate.

There are few areas of financial planning more in flux today than estate planning. The estate tax is expired, but coming back strong. The economy still can't decide if it's going up, down or setting up shop. If much of your wealth is tied up in a small business or real estate, you may not be sure of your financial future.

Even if you don't own significant, money-making assets, any number of things could disrupt your current financial picture.

As wealth manager Justin Stets points out in Klimek's WSJ column, it is unlikely that things will perfectly align at any one point. Say you're redoing your living room, but want to wait until the couch, television, and end table you're looking at are all on sale at the same time.

While it may be more convenient to take care of everything in one fell swoop, it's not always going to work out that way, It's a simplified example, but the point is that sometimes you have to act based on what's in front of you.

It is unlikely that a wealth manager or estate planning attorney will be able to tell you what the future holds, but each should be able to help you make the best decisions given your current situation and the current state of the economy.

You can always go on from there, but waiting until the right moment will often result in loose ends and uncertainty.

Source Article

  • Doing Nothing Not An Option For Estates (The Wall Street Journal)

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