Estate Planning and Wills
Estate Planning and Wills are another area of financial planning that is often not approached in the right manner.
Many people transition unexpectedly and have no Will (intestate) and their property on occasion will revert back to the “State” in many instances.
It is crucial that you have a valid Will at the very least and if your estate is valued at several hundred thousand or more Estate Planning may be a wise move on your part.
Below you will find areas of concern that you need to consider if you want to improve your family legacy with the use of Estate Planning and Wills.
Be sure to analyze all areas of your finances as they normally have a high correlation to your Estate Planning and Wills.
Your insurance, investments, taxes, education planning, and retirement planning are all areas that are directly related to Estate Planning/Wills and you need to continuously monitor and improve upon all of those areas of your finances.
Do I Have a Need for Estate Planning & Wills?
Depending on your financial net worth and current cash flow situation you may be in position to have a need for a Will and Estate Planning.
As for your Will/Estate Planning your options include visiting an attorney and/or going online and utilizing a reputable company to create a will for your spouse and yourself.
If, at this time you don’t feel you have a large enough estate to see an Attorney for Estate Planning because your retirement account and New Worth is quite low—make it a goal to increase both to a high level and consider their (Estate Attorney) services in the future.
Be sure that you will stay abreast of "life changes" (marriages, divorces, births, deaths etc.) in your family and be prepared to modify your Will if necessary in order not to "invalidate" your Will.
Be aware of how your state laws affect the outcome of your Will(s) if you were to transition unexpectedly.
As a married couple you should know what is included in each Will and you should do your best to honor what is stated in the Will should one of you pass before the other.
As a married couple you will need to create “two Wills” so be prepared to pay twice whether you create your Will at an Attorney’s Office, Online, or at your Home.
Other Ways of Protecting Your Assets
• Trusts are also an effective way of protecting your family and planning for the future. Utilize highly effective Estate Planning Attorneys if you are at the point where you are considering setting up a Trust as it can be fairly complex and must be set up in the proper manner in order for it to be valid and carry out your intended wishes.
• “Properly Titling Your Property” is another way to pass on wealth and assets to your family and loved ones. Be sure to give this area serious consideration, and again be sure to use competent highly effective professionals.
• “Stepped Up Basis” is another area that you should be concerned about as some assets will receive favorable step-up basis treatment and some won’t.
• In your estate know what the basis of your assets will be at the time of your transition and plan your tax strategy now while you are alive so your heirs will have a blueprint of what needs to be done after your transition as the adjustment period can be very difficult.
If an asset receives stepped-up basis treatment that could mean lower taxes for your heirs in the future. If, on the other hand an asset does not receive stepped-up basis treatment—that could mean higher taxes for your heirs.
* Gifting—you and your spouse can gift up to $13,000 yearly without incurring any tax consequences. Often used to reduce an estate for Estate Planning purposes. A gifting strategy can also be used in education planning. In either case competent legal advice should be obtained.
Final Thoughts On Estate Planning & Wills
Estate Planning & Wills are and area of financial planning where consumers are starting to see the need for.
With the baby boom population now maturing many now understand the need for effective planning better now than in the past—however, it is still an area of financial planning that is often overlooked by many.
Be sure to address this area of your financial planning as it can improve the living conditions for your family for generations. Do not procrastinate as this is an area of financial planning that should be addressed immediately.