Estate Planning: Leaving Things in Order After Your Passing

Estate PlanningEstate planning is more for the people who will be left behind than it is for the deceased. It is to ensure assets will be safeguarded for the family who will inherit them, debts and taxes due will be paid and distribution of such assets to those entitled to them are done fairly and with least headache.

The right persons get it

Absent a will, your estate will be governed by laws where you reside. So, if there are non-financial assets that you wish to give to someone in particular, like heirloom jewelry, then it is best to work on this beforehand.

Legal professional Miller & Steiert, P.C. shares that it’s important to always be sure that beneficiaries to insurance policies, retirement accounts and other beneficiary-designated assets are always updated so it matches whatever is in your will or trust. This ensures the right person will get them and a dispute will be avoided.

Kids first

If you have children, young or those with special needs, it is important to secure their future needs in case you are gone. Appointing a guardian you can trust, and who is willing to take on the responsibility both to care for the child and manage finances for his well-being should be a priority.

Children’s financial needs are many as they grow older. By creating a trust in the will, whatever the child will inherit will not be placed in an account that the court will control. With a trust, you can name a trustee to manage the funds for your child’s needs for education, healthcare, maintenance and support. You can also set ahead of time when the child or children can inherit the assets outright.

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Minimize taxes

Depending on the amount of assets to be given to beneficiaries, a significant amount may be lost to taxes. One way to get around this is to gift these while you are still alive. Assets with a value of $13,000 and below are non-taxable.

Another option is to give taxable assets to charities, provided these charities are indicated in your will, and leave tax-free assets like retirement accounts or life insurance to beneficiaries, including any after-tax savings.

Get a lawyer

The matter can be a complicated issue that the best help you can get is from an estate planning attorney. This way, you would be able to get immediate answers to your questions and recieve proper advice.

Don’t make it any more painful and difficult for people you will leave behind. As much as possible, make arrangements ahead so everything will be carried out minus problems.

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