Protect Yourself With Thoughtful Estate Planning

By Lisa Sampson, PNC Wealth Management® Managing Director, PNC Bank

Review Estate Plans Now, in 2021

Now is a good time to review personal and family estate planning.  Many new opportunities are developing considering the rising optimism with the broader economy, the new administration, and the new Congress.  Although the future remains uncertain, there are many things that can be done in the present to protect the interests of your loved ones and yourself.

Review Your Current Estate Plan 

Building flexible plans is important at this time. If you’ve not reviewed your estate plans recently, now is the time. The benefits of regular review and analysis never go away, regardless of the political climate. The PNC personal wealth management team firmly believes that before creating a new plan, particularly a plan that may be irrevocable, first conduct an analysis of your current plan.

Thorough Analysis 

Seek the advice of legal, tax, and financial advisors for the most thorough analysis of your estate plan. Work with these professionals to consider the following:

  • What is your potential estate tax exposure? Once determined, prepare a core capital analysis and cash flow plan. You may find that you will want to make large irrevocable gifts at this time. If you decide to make gifts, consider what type of assets will be given and if valuation by a professional is necessary.
  • What is the impact of philanthropy on your federal estate tax exposure? Certain deductions for gifts made to charity at death can potentially reduce your exposure to federal estate tax.  Retirement plans may be a good source to consider when looking at philanthropic gifts.
  • Are you making gifts to a grantor trust? If so, seek to build flexibility into the trust for basis-planning purposes, as there could be unforeseen capital gains tax implications.
  • Have you thought about the role of life insurance in your estate plan? The currently low interest rate environment makes now a good time to consider a new life insurance program or shoring up life insurance programs that may be underperforming.
Review, Review, Review before Taking Action 

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits all estate plan, just as there is no one-size-fits all approach to achieving financial success. What is certain is the need to regularly review your financial goals and the documents necessary to accomplish these goals. Through continued work with your own legal, tax, and financial advisors, you can chart a path forward that is appropriate for you and your loved ones, even in uncertain times.

For more information, please contact Lisa Sampson, PNC Wealth Management® Managing Director at

PNC Bank is a Goering Center Sponsor, and the Goering Center is sharing this content as part of its monthly newsletter, which features member and sponsor articles.

About the Goering Center for Family & Private Business
Established in 1989, the Goering Center serves more than 400 member companies, making it North America’s largest university-based educational non-profit center for family and private businesses. The Center’s mission is to nurture and educate family and private businesses to drive a vibrant economy. Affiliation with the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati provides access to a vast resource of business programing and expertise. Goering Center members receive real-world insights that enlighten, strengthen and prolong family and private business success. For more information on the Center, participation and membership visit