Estate Planning Essentials - Integrating the Technical and the Human | Webinar Series

Pathstone recently hosted a three-part webinar series on estate planning, led by Jim Coutré, Head of Wealth Planning, and Scott Weaver, Chief Fiduciary Officer.  Jim and Scott shared their insights into why estate planning should begin with a clear articulation of family vision and values, how this preparation supports the selection of appropriate strategies, and how to put these concepts in action. They shared examples from their years of working with clients from the family dynamics and fiduciary perspectives, respectively. 

As Jim and Scott emphasized, estate planning is a conscious set of choices with multigenerational implications beyond the purely financial. Planning should be approached thoughtfully and intentionally as a tool to move towards an individual’s or family’s vision of success. While tax implications are often the catalyst for estate planning, focusing exclusively on them can result in a plan that fails to support the intended goals, or even does harm.

Family Values and Purpose

In our first session, Jim and Scott discussed the importance of approaching estate planning thoughtfully, with a focus on supporting an overarching vision of success for the individual or family. Rushed planning, or planning that focuses solely on financial structuring and tax implications, can lead to missed opportunities. In addition to sharing stories based on their experiences, Jim and Scott shared a helpful set of questions and considerations to help steer the estate planning process.

Replay available here: Session One: Family Values and Purpose.

Estate Planning Strategies

Session two built on the discussion of family values and purpose by exploring planning strategies. As Scott explained, an effective planning strategy must navigate the complexities of estate and gift taxes, including the implications of the current federal estate and gift tax laws, the impact of the impending sunset of the current exemption amounts, and considerations for gifting and using trusts.

Replay available here: Session Two: Planning Strategies.

Estate Planning Tactics and Implementation

In our final installment, Jim and Scott rounded out their previous discussions with practical guidance on tactics and implementation. Each element of an estate plan requires decisions with potentially significant implications for both giver and recipient. Scott highlighted key factors to consider when choosing an estate advisor/attorney and trustee, the type of trust(s), and the state in which they are located. Jim addressed the importance of setting up trust beneficiaries for success, both through early and ongoing education and, critically, by documenting the intentions of the trust in a way that provides clarity and context for beneficiaries as well as guidance for trustees.

Replay available here: Session Three: Tactics and Implementation

To Learn More

Please contact your Pathstone client advisor to learn more about our wealth planning and trust services:

  • Pathstone’s Wealth Planning Group works closely with our client advisors to provide professional expertise in estate, tax, and financial planning; fiduciary advisory; philanthropy; and family dynamics and governance. We help clients articulate what matters most to them, then help them move toward their vision of success.
  • Willow Street works collaboratively with families and their advisors to provide guidance and administration for custom Wyoming fiduciary structures. We provide responsive, relationship-focused corporate trustee services and advisory, governance, and operations for Wyoming private trust companies (PTCs) from our office in Jackson Hole.


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No Legal, Accounting or Tax Advice. Pathstone will act solely in its capacity as a registered investment advisor and does not provide any legal advice. Though Pathstone can provide accounting and tax services, the client should seek the counsel of a qualified accountant and/or attorney when necessary. Pathstone may assist clients with tax harvesting, and we will work with a client’s tax specialist to answer any questions related to the client’s portfolio account.


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