Whether you identify with Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, or Millennials, it’s smart to build and manage your wealth. One important aspect of that is estate planning. Bank of Utah’s trust specialists are available to help you make sure your wealth is secure, you have a solid retirement plan, and your estate is safely transferred to your family when the time comes.

The need for estate planning may seem far off for younger generations, but according to Deloitte Center for Financial Services, net wealth in the US will grow from nearly $72 trillion in 2015 to $120 trillion by 2030. Over that time:

  • Baby Boomers - will hold 50% of US wealth
  • Generation X - wealth will jump from 14 % to more than 30% of US wealth
  • Millennials - wealth likely to remain steady at 20 % of US wealth

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And even if you’re a Millennial, remember, time goes by quickly, and whether we like it or not, UNEXPECTED THINGS HAPPEN. No one wants to get caught without a plan for providing for their loved ones. With that in mind, I’d like to share some basic information about estate planning that every generation should keep in mind.

Absolutely everyone should start setting aside money for retirement the minute they start working.

Bank of Utah experts can suggest ways to save and grow your wealth over time. Once you’ve started to accumulate a retirement fund, let us help you grow your money with such tools as self-directed IRAs, managed IRAs and investment options.

How do I take care of my family if something happens to me?

Taking out life insurance policies for you, your spouse and family members is a first step to helping pay for things such as funeral expenses, a college education or other needs, if you pass on. Another way to provide for your family is to set up a will. You will need an attorney to do this, but Bank of Utah’s trust experts can provide information and simplify the process to set up a will. With a will, you can designate a guardian for your minor children, and appoint an executor of your finances who will distribute inheritances according to your wishes.

What about a trust?

You may prefer to set up a trust as a way of controlling your assets, by way of a Bank of Utah trustee. There are several kinds of trusts and they offer a range of benefits.

  • Trusts help you control when and who receives your assets
  • Trusts help heirs avoid going through the costly probate process
  • Certain kinds of trusts help beneficiaries pay less taxes on their inheritances and avoid court fees
  • Trusts may also help save beneficiaries time, giving them quicker access to their inheritance
  • A trust can protect your estate from a fiscally-irresponsible beneficiary’s creditors
  • If your heirs have to go through probate to transfer your assets, your financials become a matter of public record. With a trust, your assets remain private.

Most commonly used, the revocable trust is a safe way to protect and manage your assets for your own benefit while alive, and to stipulate how those assets are distributed when you pass on. You can appoint your spouse as a co-trustee and add beneficiaries as you see fit.

You can appoint a family member as the successor trustee, which can be advantageous because they know your family history and needs. However, sometimes this creates problems because the new trustee may make decisions based on emotion, and may lack the financial knowledge and skills needed to make decisions. Appointing an experienced trust officer from Bank of Utah to act as a third-party trustee will assure the transfer of assets is done professionally and without emotion, thus mitigating family hostility or mistrust.

An irrevocable trust is an estate planning option that offers you tax advantages, and provides similar benefits to a will, with a few differences:

  • Irrevocable trusts enable you to give money and assets to beneficiaries before you die, providing a tax advantage for you.
  • However, irrevocable trusts can’t be changed or canceled without the consent of the beneficiary. Once you transfer your assets into this trust, you remove your rights of ownership to the assets and the trust.

The ins and outs of estate planning can be tricky and there are many options. Bank of Utah handles a myriad of fiduciary accounts including personal and corporate trusts, life insurance trusts, custody accounts, conservatorships, charitable trusts, probate accounts and asset protection accounts. So, no matter where you are in growing and managing your wealth, we would love to talk to you about which estate planning options make the most sense for you. Click here to schedule a free estate planning review and receive a Bank of Utah umbrella for stopping by.