Estate planning introduces its own world of terminology, and another layer of taxation. This is a great primer, or refresher, for an adviser who does not normally work in the area of estate planning. The concept of a step-up in basis is covered, along with various examples of when it does and does not apply. Probate and the importance of having a will, or the consequences of not having a will, are discussed. The titling of assets is extremely important in estate planning. What are examples of will substitutes? What happens to property under various scenarios depending upon how it is titled? What are lifetime gifts and how does this impact one’s estate? What are the estate transfer and generation-skipping taxes, and how do they work? What are the four estate planning documents that everyone should have? The final chapter covers how to handle incapacity planning, and includes a discussion about Medicaid planning.

Author: Jim Pasztor, MS, CFP®

Jim Pasztor, vice president of Academic Affairs at the College for Financial Planning is also involved with several of the College’s investment courses and the white paper series. He is a CFPM® practitioner, and has an MS degree in personal financial planning and an MSF degree in financial analysis, both from the College for Financial Planning. Jim was the recipient of the Edward D. Baker III Journal Award from IMCA in 2014 for his article Endogenous Risk and Dangers to Market Stability. You can reach Jim at

Complexity Level: Overview