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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.