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Investment and Estate Planning: A Smart Combination to Grow and Protect Your Estate

At what point do you need a professional investment advisor and estate planning team? Let's take a look.

Planning for the end of life is something few people are 100 percent comfortable doing. Yet, estate planning is one of the most important tasks a family will ever face. This is why, at Cadence Bank, we take a personal approach with every client.


People rely on Cadence Bank to provide outstanding, innovative solutions to problems that matter to them, whether planning to grow an estate or protect an existing one. One of the key things we do at Cadence Bank is to help our clients understand their investment options, especially when it comes to estate planning.


According to Cadence Bank Trust & Asset Management Chief Investment Officer George Douglas, "We pride ourselves on personalized attention. To provide clients with the best possible estate planning, we assign both a relationship manager and an investment advisor to each." This gives each client access to an advisor for the planning and another who can guide the investments comprising the estate.


Yet, at what point does someone need a professional investment advisor/estate planning team? Furthermore, how can an investment advisor aid in estate planning and trusts? We have answers. Keep reading:


What is an investment agent?

An investment agent (or advisor) is a person who specializes in capital growth opportunities. Each advisor carefully watches the financial markets and the local business community with a view to helping clients take advantage of wise investments. As Douglas puts it, "We are here to help you manage your money for today, so that you can live today, and really live later."


In other words, an investment advisor helps ease the burden of having to research investments yourself. They provide you with the tools needed to grow your estate.


What is an estate?

An estate is made of assets minus liabilities. Assets are any properties, physical or intellectual, securities, and insurance proceeds. Said assets can be held in any of the following ways:


  • Sole ownership
  • Co-ownership
  • Tenancy in common
  • Community property

How can an investment advisor/estate planner help protect your estate?

Aside from helping grow your estate, an investment advisor/estate planning team can help protect your estate in ways unseen at present. Experience has taught that when a person dies, the family dynamic undergoes an immediate change — and not always for the better. This is especially so if the decedant's estate is rather large.


According to Douglas, "We often come in as an advisor when there is an issue; our purpose then is to be the voice of reason when emotions take over." At a time when emotions are stressed to their limit, your estate planning team can take the reins on behalf of your beneficiaries.


Douglas continues, "We can be the expert, go-to source who doesn't have an emotional attachment to assets." This allows your estate planning team to "do what you want done, which may even mean protecting beneficiaries from themselves."


The key, however, lies in planning your estate — and specifically, in trusts.


What role do trusts play in estate planning?

A well-planned trust can protect your family in ways far beyond the fiscal.


Douglas reveals a surprising element which is not often considered in estate planning: in-laws. He said that in many cases, those who have married into the family can often create the most pressing issues.


"Say siblings inherit money. The spouses can become the source of problems related to the inheritance," explains Douglas. "So, we become the scapegoat they can blame if things do not go their way. This is another way of saying the trust gets the blame. The trust is created to resolve an issue or potential issue which may arise; this keeps family family, rather than crumbling due to in-fighting about the trust or their inheritance."


Which trusts are used to protect estates & reduce taxation?

The seven most common trusts used for estate planning are:


  • Bypass Trust (Credit Shelter)
  • Charitable Remainder Trust
  • Generation-Skipping Trusts (Descendant’s Trust)
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trust
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
  • Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust
  • Marital/QTIP Trust

Your Cadence Bank estate planning team will be happy to discuss such trusts and advise you as to which will be best in your situation.


Who needs an investment advisor/estate planning team?

Some may feel they do not need or cannot afford an investment advisor or estate planner. What are some guidelines to help clients know when it makes sound financial sense to get help?


As Douglas puts it, "Our average investment client holds assets in the range of $1 to $2 million; their incomes are generally in excess of 150,000." However, he also notes that often, higher income clients rapidly grow their estates once enlisting help. So, really, it never hurts to talk to an investment advisor as soon as you have the ability to start putting your disposable income to work.


Download our free ebook to learn more

Our goal at Cadence Bank is to make trust and estate management easier. We do this by providing both the tools and the expertise needed to simplify the process. Your Cadence Bank estate planner and investment advisor team can help you with tax savings on investments, arranging living wills, power of attorney documents, trusts, and any other tools needed to protect or grow your assets.


To learn more, download our free ebook "Estate Planning: Why It’s Important and How to Get Started." It answers such important questions as, "What is estate planning?" "Why plan for incapacitation?" and "Who should be the executor of your estate?" Download it today.



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This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.


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