RSS Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Featured Advisor

Ed Meek
CEO/Investment Advisor

Edge Portfolio Management


State: IL

At Edge, a low client to advisor ratio allows for personal and customized service for each individual.  Our goal is to work as a team for each client to provide not only portfolio management but wealth coordination and financial planning.  We make every effort to have frequent communication with our clients and to provide timely response to calls and emails.  I also enjoy spending time with my wife and three kids, playing and following basketball, playing golf, and participating as an advisory board member for Breakthrough Urban Ministries.

Click to see the full profile

Share |

Estate Planning Basics

People who have had multiple marriages, or those in non-traditional relationships, need clear estate planning tools to determine how their assets are distributed.

| BY Kent McDill

Knowing what you want for your family is one of the estate planning basics to consider when discussing the disbursement of your assets upon your death.

Most estate plans are designed to complete the following tasks: preserving your wealth for your beneficiaries, help to reduce conflict among family members, minimize tax issues related to your estate, and protect your family by choosing a legal guardian.

Another one of the key estate planning basics is to make sure there is no confusion about your wishes regarding your estate. A financial planner with experience writing the documents necessary can make sure the language is legally binding and clear.

Estate planning is essential to make it easy to set in motion the process of dividing the assets of your estate upon your death. Without planning, as well as a last will and testament, the division of assets could be determined by the state.

While everyone with significant assets should have an estate plan and will, of special concern are people in a non-traditional relationship, those who have cohabitated for a long period of time without marriage, people who have married more than once, and those with children. If a person has children from a previous marriage, an estate plan and written declaration of intent in the form of a will is vital to the protection of those children from members of the person’s current family.

Property ownership, such as land or permanent structures, is a key factor to consider in estate planning. The other kind of property includes things like jewelry, automobiles, bank accounts, cash and securities. While those are difficult to divide prior to death, leaving the distribution of those kinds of assets to a family member or the state would be much more difficult for those who might inherit some of those goods.

According to Spectrem’s Relationship with Advisors, 30 percent of Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and 25 million received advice on an estate plan from their primary advisor, while 33 percent received advice from someone other than a primary advisor. Twenty-five percent said they do not need the advice, and 12 percent said they planned to seek the advice in the future.


About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.