Estate Planning


Estate planning anticipates and arranges for the accumulation, administration and disposition of an estate to one’s chosen beneficiaries. It addresses your legal and financial concerns taking into account your goals and objectives as well as your tax considerations. It also takes advantage of existing laws and funding vehicles to save taxes efficiently and help manage your property in an effective way during your lifetime.

A well-constructed estate plan is designed to do the following:

  • Reduce estate taxes
  • Provide liquidity to pay estate taxes
  • Protect your family’s income
  • Provide professional asset management
  • Control distribution of your estate

Estate Planning—It is more than a Will or a Trust

You probably have a will and you may have set up a trust to receive the proceeds of your estate. However, have you reviewed the beneficiary designations on your investment and retirement plan accounts? Did you review the way in which your assets were titled? Did you consider what the value of your estate might look like in 20 or 30 years? Summit’s comprehensive approach to Estate Planning starts with a thorough review of your current documents, followed by some preliminary feedback on our part. We then make calculated projections related to your estate taxes and cash flow, and coordinate with a team of in house estate and income tax specialists to put together a detailed plan of attack.

Specific strategies and services within our comprehensive approach to addressing your Estate Planning needs include:

  • Wills & Trust Review
  • Asset Titling, Insurance Evaluation
  • Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care Powers of Attorney/Living Wills
  • Gifting Techniques/Strategies
  • Leverage of Unified Credit, Annual Exclusion
  • Family Limited Partnerships/Limited Liability Companies
  • Valuation Discounts
  • Grantor Trusts
  • Asset Protection Trusts
  • Multi-Generational Planning
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
  • Charitable Planning
  • Wealth Replacement Trusts
  • Family Income Trusts/Incentive Trusts
  • Family Wealth Counseling
  • Irrevocable Insurance Trusts
  • Elder Law Planning

Our clients benefit from such an all-encompassing and expert team approach to their Estate plan. This coordinated approach generates confidence that the value of their estate will be maximized, and that their wishes for the disposition of assets to heirs and beneficiaries will be fulfilled.