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Estate planning involves planning around family relationships. Estate planning is not just for the very old or very wealthy. If you are concerned about your loved ones, you need to take action now to lessen the financial and emotional burden your incapacity or death will bring.

Estate planning is more than just planning to minimize estate1 and gift taxes2; it includes your goals now and your legacy in the future.

Where Do I Start?

Some important steps in planning your estate are: 1) determining who should make decisions for you in the event of your incapacity; and 2) what you want to happen to your loved ones and your assets after you have passed away.

Simple Questions to Ask Yourself

» Who should manage my assets in the event of my incapacity? Who should make health care decisions for me? Family? Friends? Bank or Corporate Trustee?
» Who should carry out my estate plan after my death? Family or Friends? Bank or Corporate Trustee? Probate Court?
» Who should take care of my children if they are minors at my death? Parents? Siblings? Friends?
» Who should receive my assets at my death? Family? Friends? Charity?
» When should my assets be distributed at my death? Immediately after my death? At some specified time after my death? Upon beneficiaries reaching certain ages? 
» How should my assets be distributed? Should my spouse have a right to the income before my assets pass to others? Will my children need a Corporate Trustee to handle their inheritance? Should my beneficiaries attain certain goals I specify before they receive my assets?

To learn more about estate planning and what is involved, visit the Estate Planning Concepts section.








1According to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, the federal estate, gift and generation skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption amounts are all $5,000,000 (indexed for inflation effective for tax years after 2011); the maximum estate, gift and GST tax rates are 40%.

2As of January 1, 2016, the annual gift tax exclusion is $14,000 per donee (indexed for inflation). For more information on this subject, and professional guidance in selecting the right kind and amount of insurance coverage, contact your life insurance producer. 

For more information on this subject, and professional guidance in selecting the right kind and amount of insurance coverage, contact your life insurance producer.

This material is not intended to be used, nor can it be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding U.S. federal, state or local tax penalties. This material is written to support the promotion or marketing of the transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed by this material. Pacific Life, its distributors and their respective representatives do not provide tax, accounting or legal advice. Any taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer’s particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

Pacific Life refers to Pacific Life Insurance Company and its affiliates, including Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Insurance products are issued by Pacific Life Insurance Company in all states except New York and in New York by Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Product availability and features may vary by state. Each insurance company is solely responsible for the financial obligations accruing under the products it issues. Insurance products and their guarantees, including optional benefits and any crediting rates, are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company, but they do not protect the value of the variable investment options. Look to the strength of the life insurance company with regard to such guarantees as these guarantees are not backed by the broker-dealer, insurance agency or their affiliates from which this product is purchased. Neither these entities nor their representatives make any representation or assurance regarding the claims-paying ability of the life insurance company. Variable insurance products are distributed by Pacific Select Distributors, LLC (member FINRA & SIPC), a subsidiary of Pacific Life Insurance Company, and an affiliate of Pacific Life & Annuity Company, and are available through licensed third-party broker-dealers.

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