2017 was another banner year for investors. The total return (inclusive of dividends) for the S&P 500 was a gain of 22%. There were not any meaningful hiccups along the way; as shown in the chart below, the index posted positive returns in every single month of 2017. International stocks fared even better, with a total return for the MSCI All Country World Ex-U.S. index of 27%.
Estate planning is really "transfer planning." It is an ongoing exercise of planning how you accumulate, conserve, and distribute your assets during life, at death, and beyond. There are both financial and non-financial reasons to plan.