Be proactive about estate planning

Estate planning is an essential part of your overall financial health.

It isn’t just making sure your will is up to date or your insurance covers all your debts. Estate planning is also about minimizing the tax burden from inheritance and making sure your family is taken care of. 

A financial advisor can play an important role in helping your lawyer draw up the legal paperwork needed to make sure your estate is planned properly.

Your financial advisor can help you create a list of all your insurance policies and financial accounts. Be sure to include account numbers for investment and bank accounts and policy numbers for disability, homeowners, credit and life insurance that you might have. And be sure to remember credit card accounts, loans, mortgages and other financial holdings that might be important.

This includes other sources of income, like pensions, military benefits, and Social Security.

If you store any information on your computer or online, make a list of all usernames and passwords and where the information can be found.

List all organizations in which you have a membership. They may provide special death benefits and should be noted for your survivors to contact if appropriate.

Once you’ve gathered all this information, your advisor can help you calculate your net worth.

Then you can make sure your insurance policies are enough to cover any expenses you may leave behind after death.

If you have a substantial net worth, a financial advisor can help to determine the steps needed to minimize or eliminate the impact of estate taxes.

Establishing a trust

For example, an advisor might suggest you establish a trust. This is a legal entity that holds property designated by you for the benefit of you and your beneficiaries.

Your financial advisor can also help by organizing your financial records.

And just like your life insurance, the status of your IRA, 401(k) and other retirement plans need to be reviewed occasionally for beneficiary arrangements and benefits.

At DVF, our estate planning professionals work as a team with the client’s attorney and other business professionals such as financial advisors to ensure smooth coordination of all aspects of the estate plan. Our services include the following items:


  • Estate gifting strategies
  • Review of wills related to estate planning goals and tax consequences
  • Assistance with structure and formation of trusts
  • Assistance with development and formation of gifting programs
  • Business succession planning
  • Structuring asset ownership to achieve the most favorable tax consequences


If you need help with your estate planning needs, call DVF at (615) 893-6666 in Murfreesboro, Tenn. or (615) 444-4125 in Lebanon, Tenn.