Personal Finance
Personal Finance
Watch Senior Wealth Planner for PNC Delaware Trust Company, Heather Flanagan's video commentary on strategies for wealth protection. more >
Heather Flanagan, PNC Delaware Trust Company
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Estate Planning

Are you really in control of your money's destiny? It's your money. You want to decide who inherits it. But without a thoughtful and sophisticated estate plan, your children could lose their inheritance in divorce settlements, some of your wealth might unnecessarily be lost to taxes, and your legacy could be squandered through poor investments or wasteful spending.

Whether you want to endow a charity or provide for grandchildren, you want to feel confident your wealth will last.

At PNC Wealth Management, you can find the trust and estate solutions you need - planning, administration and asset management services, all in a simple source, and developed in close coordination with your professional advisors. Our approach is uniquely personal, tailored to your needs and built on a strong relationship with you.

What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is a process designed to help you manage and preserve your assets while you are alive, and to conserve and control their distribution after your death, according to your goals and objectives. But what estate planning means to you specifically depends on who you are. Your age, health, wealth, lifestyle, life stage, goals, and many other factors determine your particular estate planning needs. For example, you may have a small estate and may be concerned only that certain people receive particular things. A simple will is probably all you'll need. Or, you may have a large estate, and minimizing any potential estate tax impact is your foremost goal. Here, you'll need to use more sophisticated techniques in your estate plan, such as a trust.

Review our Estate Planning Pyramid to better evaluate your level of estate planning requirements.

What Are Your Goals and Objectives?

Your goals and objectives are personal, but you can't formulate a successful plan without a clear and precise understanding of what they are. They can be based on your particular circumstances and the factors that may affect your estate, as discussed earlier, but your feelings and desires are just as important. The following are some goals and objectives you might consider:

  • Provide financial security for your family
  • Ensure that your property is preserved and passed on to your beneficiaries
  • Avoid disputes among family members, business owners, or with third parties (such as the IRS)
  • Provide for your children's or grandchildren's education
  • Provide for your favorite charity
  • Maintain control over your property in case of incapacity or ensure its competent management
  • Minimize estate taxes and other costs
  • Avoid probate
  • Provide adequate liquidity for the settlement of your estate
  • Transfer ownership of your business to your beneficiaries


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