Legacy / Estate PlanningHow is Legacy Planning Effected by Taxes?How Can I Protect My Estate? Estate planning is the process by which a living individual prepares for the distribution of assets in the event of death. Like our discussion of risk management and insurance, estate planning involves discussion of a difficult subject, our eventual and certain demise.Estate planning involves legal work and, therefore, requires an attorney. The passing of estates involves taxes, and therefore requires the counsel of a tax advisor. Our role as an advisor is to organize and finance the plan, working with our clients and their attorneys and tax advisors to implement the funding of estate plans. These plans may include passing an estate to heirs or establishing a legacy via charitable endowment or other charitable donation. Can one pass assets to others with minimal impact and maximum efficiency? Yes, but only in the most simple of cases. For example, the estate of a spouse can pass to the surviving spouse without any taxes or much in the way of legal work. However, this does not make such a plan the best for all parties involved.Getting an estate in order to begin planning can be quite a chore, with creation of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, etc. No single estate looks like another, but most plans strive to provide for the transfer of assets quickly, with a minimum of legal hurdles, at the lowest tax bill possible. Proper planning can assure the most efficient transfer of your estate possible given its size and make-up.