Estate Planning


Oftentimes when I work with clients who are beginning the estate planning process, I inform them they should shoot for 75 percent of perfection. Why would a Certified Financial Planner® suggest this idea? There are several reasons in which I will summarize below and then I will add some additional thoughts.

What is the 75% Plan?

Understanding from the beginning you do not need to shoot for perfection reduces the level of stress that often accompanies a person’s first attempt at estate planning. If a person shoots for perfection on the first attempt, they are more likely to abandon the process altogether due to the anxiety from being overwhelmed.

Having the mindset “something is better than nothing” can go a long way in taking the first step in planning your estate. The 75% plan allows a person the understanding of estate planning being a process, not a “once and done” project. As life continues to change and evolve, estate plans need to be updated and changed due to these life changes. The 75% plan will incorporate the highest priorities of a person’s wishes and desires for their estate. Estate plans can always be modified or amended over time to incorporate additional desires and/or updates. As these modifications and amendments are incorporated, a person’s estate plan gradually moves closer to 100% of their desired plan. FYI: It is almost incalculable that a person’s estate plan is 100% perfect. If something happens to a person and they only had their estate plans at 75% of desirability, it beats having nothing in place! Getting to 75% takes less time than trying to get to the 100% marker. More time is usually spent on the remaining balance of estate planning wishes compared to the main priorities expressed in the initial 75% of estate planning desires.

An additional step to achieve the 75% plan is to work with financial professionals who are the best fit for your particular circumstances. Consider the background/experience of each of the team members helping you to develop your estate plans.

Your estate planning team will likely include the following:
  • Estate planning attorney
  • CPA/Tax Advisor
  • Certified Financial Planner®
  • Insurance Agent
  • Investment Advisor
  • Trust Officer/Trust Administrator
  • Some of the advisory positions listed above may or may not be necessary, the determination may be impacted by the overall size and complexity of your unique estate. Remember your situation is “one-of-a-kind” and just because your neighbor or friend developed their estate plans in a particular manner does not require yours to be built around that plan.

Call Frontier Bank’s Wealth Management & Trust advisors at (605) 332-3832 to help you begin the process of developing your estate plans. We are strong believers in working with dedicated team members to help you achieve the best estate plan for your family!

Gary Popkes

Gary Popkes, CFP®
Senior Vice President
Downtown Sioux Falls



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