The Nature and Scope of Estate Planning

by Irving Pfeffer



The economic potential of the individual may be expressed as the maximum net worth, earning power, or net worth ultimately transmitted to one's heirs. Each of these ideas is rooted in the same concept, the enlargement of the economic power of the individual through creation of an estate during the lifetime of the individual, with conservation and orderly liquidation during the years after death and for the longer period during the lifetimes of the heirs or other natural "objects of one's bounty." Achievement of one's personal goals and of one's economic potential are not necessarily incompatible. There are many paths to economic success, and many of these need not conflict with personal goals. Indeed, the two ends may be complementary rather than competitive. The purpose of this article is to describe an approach to estate planning which is little known to most people, indeed, to most managers. This approach will permit the individual, aided by certain tools and strategies, to make his personal and economic goals complementary.

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