Mobile Navigation

Close Mobile MenuOpen Site Search

Estate Planning with Credit Unions - A Strategic Approach

Main Blog Article Content


Estate planning isn’t only for the rich. If you have assets, it's essential to consider how you'd like them to be handled once you've passed. And if you have dependents, it's vital that they are cared for in the manner you see fit in the event of your untimely death.

Estate planning can be an uncomfortable task for many. That's perfectly understandable. However, creating a plan can be an empowering exercise that your loved ones will surely appreciate. A credit union like Power Financial Credit Union is a great resource to help in your Florida estate planning effort.

The Importance of Estate Planning

Families and individuals of all income levels need to plan for the inevitable—even when it's decades into the future. There are four main reasons to create an estate plan.
  1. You decide who will inherit your possessions and minimize potential family strife.
  2. You name your minor children’s guardian in case both parents die before the child reaches age 18. You also name the trustee for your assets until the child comes of age.
  3. Estate planning minimizes the estate tax burden for your heirs.
  4. Your heirs avoid a court battle (and the legal costs involved) that could ensue if you die without a plan.

Strategic Estate Planning with Credit Unions

Many credit unions in the U.S. offer estate planning education and services to help members protect their loved ones’ futures. Leveraging these benefits may represent a significant cost saving over the services of a law firm.

Credit union estate planning services provide expert guidance to help you develop goals to protect your assets so they go to your intended heirs. They can assist you in creating a traditional will, a trust, or both. Wills and trusts both govern how your assets should be divided upon your death, but they're treated differently.

A will appoints an executor who is responsible for ensuring your wishes are followed. This document should also name a guardian for any minors. A will must be probated, which is the legal process of settling the estate.

A trust is a legal entity that you create to hold and manage your assets. You name a trustee to manage the property in the trust and any resulting income on behalf of your named heirs. A trust allows you to avoid probate on the property in the trust and lets you control when beneficiaries can access the assets.

Trusts can either be revocable or irrevocable. Revocable trusts can be changed or canceled while you are alive; irrevocable trusts cannot. Once you create an irrevocable trust, you give up legal title to the property in the trust. For example, you may transfer the legal title of your house to a trust. An irrevocable trust offers protection from estate taxes.

Your credit union can provide guidance on all of these estate planning issues—and more. Credit unions meet Florida estate planning requirements; their advice can be tailored for other states as well.

A Personalized Approach to Florida Estate Planning

Your estate plan should be tailored to your needs, fiscal goals, and family dynamics. Your assets and belongings should be divided based on their monetary value as well as their emotional value to your beneficiaries.

It's important to consider that your loved ones may have sentimental attachments to some of your belongings and to address their emotional value in your plans. This helps to minimize family conflicts over their distribution. For example, stipulating that your jewelry be split between two heirs may not be adequate. Without clear instructions about specific items, bitter arguments can arise.

Perhaps you'd like to leave part of your estate to a charity that shares your values. Maybe your college or university had an impact on your life that you want to celebrate. The legal and financial professionals at your local credit union are ready and willing to help with the many decisions you face regarding your estate.

Whether you create an inventory of your possessions or provide broad instructions to an executor, it is vital to document your wishes.

Maximizing Benefits and Minimizing Taxes

Besides ensuring that your wishes are honored, estate planning is vital to minimize estate taxes. An estate of $13.61 million for single people and double that for couples in 2024 is now exempt from federal death taxes because of a bill passed in 2017. However, after 2025 that number will be cut in half unless a new bill is passed. You should be aware that several states have estate taxes, too.

Planning now enables you to gift some assets ahead of time to heirs. Another option to decrease the estate tax burden is charitable giving. If you have stocks and bonds that have grown significantly, donating them to a qualified charity can also help your estate avoid the capital gains tax.

Making an estate plan is an essential first step, but don't let it sit on the shelf. Be sure to review your plan every few years. Your assets may change, there may be new family members to include, or you may realize how important an item is to a loved one. Review and update your estate plans regularly to adapt to changing circumstances.

Power Financial Credit Union—Your Florida Estate Planning Resource

An estate plan is a critical tool to protect your family and establish your preferences for asset distribution. Otherwise, you leave their fate up to the courts. Hiring an estate attorney is one option for creating a will or trust. However, taking advantage of the estate planning and trust services at a credit union like Power Financial Credit Union can be an equally effective, more affordable option.

Credit unions place considerable emphasis on personalized solutions, financial education, and wealth management while providing a level of service you rarely find at larger financial institutions. A credit union can help you establish a solid plan to protect your dependents and transfer assets to your heirs.

Explore Florida estate planning options and other wealth management solutions at credit unions like Power Financial Credit Union. Ensure that your loved ones are provided for after you're gone, and protect your assets by starting the conversation at  Power Financial Credit Union today.