Estate planning is an important process that needs to be carried out correctly for the sake of the ones you love. After all, when you pass away, they will be the ones left to tend to your affairs. By properly structuring your estate plan, your family will be better protected and better prepared for the future.
No matter what your personal situation, everyone should have a will. A will is vital so that your wishes are carried out correctly. It is also important to have a professional draft your will. In today’s digital world, online tools are available, but they often lead to mistakes and will cause you more financial loss in the long run.
In most situations you will also need a trust. A trust allows you to name a trustee to watch over your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. A trust will help you avoid the probate process, which we have explained in other blogs.
When determining if a trust is right for you, you must consider the gross value of your estate. There aren’t only bank accounts; there is real property, personal property, stocks and bonds, IRA’s and other retirement plans, as well as insurance policies. You have to keep everything in mind when estate planning. A professional should be consulted to go over how to handle each of your assets.
In addition to protecting your assets, you should be concerned with protecting your heirs from taxes. Estate taxes can be very expensive, but can also be reduced or prevented. Just remember, the more preparation and foresight you give, the easier the process of handling your estate will be for your loved ones.