Estate Planning for Your Family with Alan Brown

Estate planning is about preparing your family’s legacy, giving them the tools to pass on your values. There are many parts of estate planning that have repercussions for you and your family. Today, we have invited on nationally recognized estate planning attorney, Alan Brown.

He started his career as a trial lawyer more than 40 years ago. However, he wanted to help families in a more direct way and turned to estate planning and tax law. He is a current partner at HunterMaclean in Savannah, Georgia where he helps families by developing trusts, estate plans, wills, and more.

There is a lot more to estate planning than developing wills. If you become incapacitated, you will need a power of attorney for property and a power of attorney for healthcare. These are both representatives you will decide on during the estate planning process.

Where does your money go when you die? What does a will really cover? That’s an important question when developing a plan. You may not realize it but a lot of financial accounts or decisions you’ve made in the past probably already have beneficiaries. Your retirement accounts and your life insurance will go to the dictated beneficiaries you listed at the time of your death. Perhaps you and your spouse have joint tendencies. Your will won’t cover these assets if your beneficiary is still alive, it will simply be transferred into their name.

A will covers what you own in your own name, at the time of your death. And it’s actually a public document and can be seen by anyone. That is why attorneys may split your will into two, using what they call a pour-over will. In this situation, your assets will ‘pour over’ into a living revocable trust. This keeps your will out of the public domain but can be accessed by family.

You need to get clear on what you have and where you want it to go before you meet with a lawyer. It is all about communicating with your family. You’ll certainly want to outline your legacy to your family and what you want for their future. Developing revocable trusts for your spouse or your children will protect your assets once they are passed on. Meeting with a financial advisor before you go to an estate planning attorney will make the process a lot smoother.

Estate planning is more than deciding where your money will end up. By giving your family these tools, they can honor the values you want to be passed on. Make sure to join us next time as we continue our conversation about financial legacies.

Listen to the full episode to learn more or skip around to certain topics.



0:58 – Our guest Alan Brown

3:33 – Estate planning made simple

5:15 – Where does your money go when you die?

8:25 – Generational thinking exercise

12:50 – Trusts are asset protection

14:02 – Estate taxes

17:06 – Proposed changes to trusts

18:11 – Right pocket, left pocket

20:29 – Last important thoughts

22:20 – Upcoming planning about legacy

23:53 – Connecting with Hunter McClain



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