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A Stress Test for Your Estate Plan

Are there surprises lurking in your plan?

In a time of great uncertainty, there is so much that is out of our control. But one thing that is – or at least should be – in your control is your estate plan. However, estate plans can become outdated, which can lead to unpleasant surprises for heirs. Proposed tax policy changes further complicate the estate planning process and underscore the importance of revisiting your plan now to avoid any unintended consequences. In a new report, we identify common problem areas that, unfortunately, our experts see all too often, including:

  • Parents who are surprised by the amount of wealth going outright to their children, particularly when they might not be prepared to manage it
  • Trust provisions that do not align with more contemporary goals like supporting entrepreneurship or environmental/social investment objectives
  • Unforeseen complications with passion assets, such as vacation homes or art collections, which are difficult to value, hard to sell and expensive to maintain
  • Unused lifetime gift tax exclusions or generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemptions
    Closely held businesses, private equity investments and real estate accompanied by hard-to-pay estate tax bills

Stress Test Your Plan

Northern Trust’s proprietary approach to stress testing estate plans will give you a clear picture of how your plan will unfold to ensure your lifetime, family and philanthropic goals will be fulfilled.

This process is intended to complement your estate planning process, in close coordination with your attorney, to ensure your plan will play out as intended.