No matter how big your estate is, it is important to create an effective
estate plan in order to ensure that your family is able to inherit your
assets. Estate plans can be used to help limit the amount of taxes that
your beneficiaries will owe. In this blog, we provide valuable estate
planning tips that you can use to ensure that your family is protected
after your death.
Make a Declaration of Who Will Get What
If you do not have an adequate will at the time of your death, the laws
that govern your state will ultimately decide who will inherit your assets.
This also includes nonfinancial assets like jewelry or old cars that hold
high amounts of sentimental value. However, a will might not cover assets
for which beneficiary designations are subject to the terms of the governing
agreements; like tax-deferred retirement accounts and life insurance policies.
You should consult with an attorney to determine what rules apply to you.
Determine How Your Assets Should Be Spent
If you would like some of your assets allocated to cover certain expenses,
you should create a trust that includes such provisions. For example,
you might want specific amounts of your assets to be used to cover college
and special needs expenses for certain individuals. The trustee of the
trust would be legally bound to see that your designated amounts are used
to cover these expenses.
Try to Minimize Estate & Income Taxes
If you are anticipating that your beneficiaries will owe estate and income
taxes on their inheritance, you should look into tax-efficient strategies
that can be used to help minimize their expenses. One example of this
is to leave your taxable assets to charities and leave your tax-free assets
to your other beneficiaries.
Need help planning your estate? Contact our Irving estate attorney
to get started on your free consultation today.