Skip to main content

Legacy Planning

Estate Planning

Having a plan for your estate—your home, your wealth, your possessions—means you can leave the legacy you want, whether that’s to help your family, a charitable cause, or an institution.

Many people associate estate planning with having a will. While the transfer of your assets is an important part of estate planning, a will is just one aspect of a broader plan designed to make sure your wishes are known, honored, and carried out as efficiently as possible when you're no longer able to articulate them. We work with a team of estate planning experts to help you develop an estate strategy that can help:

  • Reduce or eliminate gift, estate, and inheritance taxes for your heirs
  • Protect your estate from mismanagement or from claims of creditors or ex-spouses
  • Leave the legacy you want, such as paying for your grandchildren’s education or giving to your favorite charitable causes

In addition to the expertise our team can offer, you'll want to work with an estate planning attorney to establish:

  • Healthcare directives (also known as living wills) that specify the extent to which you want health care professionals to treat you if you become ill or incapacitated
  • Powers of attorney that grant people you trust the legal authority to act on your behalf in case of sudden accident or illness
    • A healthcare power of attorney enables your agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf
    • A financial power of attorney allows your agent to do things like pay bills, access accounts, and possibly make gifts
  • A will or possibly a living trust to make sure your assets are transferred according to your wishes or even name a legal guardian for children under the age of 18
    • The Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company (NMWMC) can serve as trustee of Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts. In addition, through the Trust Alliance Program, NMWMC can partner with nationally-recognized trust administration firms that offer a broad range of services such as revocable trusts, charitable trusts, endowments, and foundations.

Charitable Giving

Planning for charitable giving

Now more than ever, people are putting their money where their values are. As part of your financial plan, charitable giving can help support the causes and organizations that are important to you, while maximizing tax efficiencies and defining your legacy.

There are many ways to give back. Our experienced team will work with you and your family to help identify philanthropic goals and develop your charitable giving strategy, which could include some of these options:

Cash: Transfer directly to the charity(ies) of your choice

Stock: Donate shares of stock you own       

Other Kinds Of Property: Donate items such as clothing, computers, cars, even life insurance

Donor-Advised Fund: A charitable investment account that offers flexible and efficient ways to manage donating to charities

Private Foundation: A charitable organization funded primarily by a single donor or small group of donors

Charities In Your Estate Planning: Create a legacy of giving by including your favorite charity in your will or trust

Charitable Trusts: Transfer assets out of the estate with the goal of using them for charity

No matter if you’re just starting to craft your philanthropic vision or need help with more complex giving strategies, we have the expertise to help you make an impact.

Generational Planning

For many parents, their top priority is making sure their children (or grandchildren) are set up for success. From saving for your kids’ education to passing your wealth on in a meaningful way, we can help you plan for it.

When thinking about providing for the next generations of your family, we’ll create a strategy that will give you the flexibility and control to hand down your wealth (during your lifetime, after, or both) in a way you see fit. We start by helping you develop a plan or purpose for your assets, then we’ll determine what types of assets to allocate, to who and when, and how best to transfer them. Here are some important questions to consider:

  • If you’re contributing to a college fund, are there other types of accounts for additional assets you should be considering?
  • How would you help contribute to your child’s wedding, first-home purchase, or annual gifts?
  • What are the different ways you can manage the impact of income or estate taxes?
  • Do you want to maintain any control or place limits over how the money is used?