Estate and Generational Planning The Need for Estate Planning At a person’s demise there are certain typical problems which, if not planned for, create a burden on those who are left behind.Proper estate planning can eliminate or reduce these problems. Financial Burdens Estate settlement costs are too high: These costs consist primarily of probate fees and death taxes.Probate fees: These are generally paid to the executor of the estate and the attorney who assists with the probate.Death taxes: Estates that exceed certain amounts may be subject to both state and federal death taxes. Estate assets are improperly arranged:Liquidity: There are not enough liquid (cash type) assets to pay estate settlement costs.Cash flow: There is not enough income to care for loved ones left behind, e.g., spouse and minor children. Transfer of Assets Estate assets may be subject to probate delays and expense.Assets transferred to minors may be in cumbersome guardianship accounts until they attain age 18 (or 21 in some states) and are then distributed outright to the children. A court supervised guardianship may be required.Additional death taxes may be paid because there was no pre-death planning.Without planning, estate assets may not pass to the intended heirs. Care of Minors Guardians: Parents can nominate a guardian for their minor children in a will.Asset management: If the wrong persons are chosen to manage the assets left for the minors, the assets may be lost or unnecessarily reduced.