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Regularly reviewing existing estate plans is a good financial practice, and the looming change to the lifetime estate/gift tax exemptions at the end of 2025 makes now an opportune time to review your plans. Two powerful tools in estate planning are time and interest rates. With time, the more you have remaining, the greater the number of estate planning options available to you. With interest rates, the lower the prevailing rates, the more likely investments can achieve excess returns, thus the more attractive many strategies become. The ultra-low interest rates of the past decade were a boon for many estate planning strategies, but the increase in interest rates does not mean the end of effective estate planning opportunities. Indeed, there are a handful of strategies that become even more attractive in a higher interest rate environment. Rising interest rates influence the effectiveness of various estate planning tools. Leveraging these tools...

Building Stronger Bonds: The Importance of Family Meetings

Building Stronger Bonds: The Importance of Family Meetings

One of the special things about families is that each one is completely unique. Each member with their own lived experiences and interactions, and the context in which the family is embedded, creates that uniqueness. While each member might be familiar with their family’s idiosyncrasies, navigating these can be challenging, especially when it comes to behaviors around money. Family meetings, however, are one of the single best tools families can use when confronted with decisions that will affect all family members and future generations. These meetings can bring a family closer together, foster communication, and help the family plan for the future. In this article we will explore the importance of family meetings and provide guidance on how to make them as productive and enjoyable as possible. Bringing a family together through a meeting signals that there is some shared purpose and reinforces the idea that each family member is...