Passing It On

Passing It On

is the stage where you’ll want to finalize plans for “passing on” gifts and inheritances you’ve decided to save for along the way. Now is the time to review your will, powers of attorney, and beneficiary designations on life insurance policies and retirement accounts. An experienced advisor can help make sure your wishes are correctly recorded so that your kids, grandkids, favorite charity, or whoever you select will benefit from your generosity. Remember, you may visit this stage several times throughout your life as your situation or goals change.

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"Inheritance tax can go as high as 40%. Ask about exemptions!"1
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"95.4% of Americans participate at some level of charitable giving."2

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"Approximately 45% of American adults have a will or other estate plan in place."3

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"Some 51% of Americans expect to inherit money from older family members."4

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"American retirees expect to leave an average inheritance of almost $177,000 to their heirs."5
Five Documents To Protect Your Assets
Preparing the Next Generation
The Basics
After I die, will my children receive social security benefits?

It depends on how long you've worked in a job where you've paid social security taxes and how old your children are at the time of your passing. 

First, how long you’ve worked: you must have earned the required number of social security credits by working in a job where you pay social security taxes on your earnings. Typically, the required number of credits is 40, depending on your age at the time of your death. But a special rule applies to young workers that may allow your children to be eligible for benefits if you earned at least six Social Security credits in the three years just before your death. Because you can earn only four credits per year, you must have worked at least a year and a half to earn these six credits.

To be eligible for social security benefits when you die, your children must be age 18 or under (19 if still in high school), and unmarried. Special rules apply to unmarried children who are disabled. Your child may be eligible to receive up to 75% of the benefit that the Social Security Administration calculates you would have received if you had reached full retirement age at the time of your death. Various factors will affect the amount of your child's benefit, including whether other family members are also receiving benefits on your earnings record.

To find out more about what survivors benefits your child might receive if you die, based on your earnings record, check your social security statement. To access your statement, sign up for a my SocialSecurity account at the Social Security Administration's website, ssa.gov.

How do I prepare for the transition of wealth?

Talk to your financial advisor. They’ll discuss your wishes and, based upon a number of factors, can guide you through the many options available to you.

When should I start planning for the transition of wealth?

There’s no time like the present. In fact, the sooner you get a plan in place, the more peace of mind you’ll have. In addition, you’ll be prepared should the unexpected occur, and your wishes will have already been made known and legally set in place. Without a formal plan, your wealth will be susceptible to court decisions and unprotected from taxes. While your heirs will be left without the benefit of the generosity you’d intended for them. The safer course of action would be to start planning with your financial advisor today.

When should I start planning for the succession of my business?

Now. Your exit strategy and the subsequent transfer of power can be a complicated and emotional issue. The sooner you make a formal plan, the sooner you can start to groom the next generation of business leaders or keep things on track for a successful sale, if that’s what you prefer.

The key is deciding now what you want the future of your company to look like. Do you want control of the company to go to certain people, or do you want to provide for those people without leaving them the responsibilities that go with running a business? Both courses of action require prudent planning on your part. In fact, the process could take years. The right business succession plan will help you make important decisions about ownership, maximizing your company's value and identifying beneficial tax strategies.

What are my options for passing on wealth if I have no children?

In general, those without children often plan to make sure their surviving spouse is taken care of and that their wishes for end-of-life care are respected. In addition, making sure your pet(s) have a new home, rather than a shelter, can be a priority as well.

Beyond that, a worthy charity, church or alma mater can all benefit from your generosity. An advisor can help with a plan to ensure your wishes are carried out.

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"56% of Americans expect to give inheritances to their children."5

BOK Financial Corporation (BOKF) offers wealth management and trust services through various affiliate companies and non-bank subsidiaries including advisory services offered by BOKF, NA and its subsidiaries BOK Financial Asset Management, Inc. and Cavanal Hill Investment Management, Inc. each an SEC registered investment adviser. BOKF offers additional investment services and products through its subsidiary BOK Financial Securities, Inc., a broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC, and an SEC registered investment adviser and The Milestone Group, also an SEC registered investment adviser.

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