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Often, when I begin a discussion with a client on estate planning, I remind them that they generally have three beneficiaries: family, charity, and Uncle Sam. I follow up with the question, “how much do you want to leave to each?” 

No one ever wants to leave their money to Uncle Sam, but the government will receive a piece of most everyone’s estate none-the-less — whether it be at the federal or state level, so you might consider incorporating philanthropy or bequests into your estate plan. With a deliberate, structured approach, you can leave specific assets to your kids and significant sums to charity, while paying zero estate taxes.

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