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Levels of Estate Planning

What is Basic, Intermediate, and Complex Estate Planning? How do I determine which area of estate planning I need?

First, prior to making any determination as to the extent of estate planning required for any client, the Firm reviews the Estate Plan Record. This record is the foundation for identifying the tools and techniques to be used, regardless of the level or complexity of planning.

Undeniably, understanding the extent of assets, tax laws and a myriad of regulations, complex concepts, and the tools and techniques that may be used to reduce or eliminate estate taxes can be confusing. In an over simplification, divide your estate planning into three levels to conceptualize your estate planning needs:

  • Basic — we identify and valuing assets, make a reasonable prediction about possible estate tax liability, and draft a Will and other documents accordingly.
  • Intermediate — for an estate that is likely to be subject to the estate tax, we focus on reducing the size of your taxable estate.
  • Complex — for an estate that will be subject to estate tax, we apply even more sophisticated techniques to minimize your tax liability.

This is only a broad overview and the boundaries between basic, intermediate, and complex estate planning are not hard and fast. Each of these three levels build on each other, and the tools and techniques may be used across these boundaries depending on the nature of your assets and your plans for disposing of your estate. In all cases, we will use the tools and techniques necessary to help carry out your wishes and minimize your taxes.


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Copyright 2006 The Overton Law Firm, P.C.
404 Knox Street | Houston, Texas 77007 | Phone 713.861.8300 | Facsimile 713.861.8380
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