Death and taxes are the only two things that are certain in life. What we often overlook is how we would like our hard-earned money and possessions shared among our loved ones…or who we don’t want to share with.
Trust and estate planning are not just for the old, wealthy, or sentimental. Taking the proper preventative steps can help us while living, and be a great service to those mourning.
So, let us review tips to save time and money for ourselves and our loved ones.
Gift When You Can
You can too feel like Oprah and start handing out money while you can.
The IRS allows individual annual gifts of up to $15,000.00. This generous gift is also tax-free to the recipient.
Not all gifts are free, however. Gifts such as homes and stocks are considered appreciable assets and as such may be better to transfer after death to avoid taxes.
Create Your Directives
Plan for the worst-case scenario, but hope for the best.
A living trust can help those that were to become physically or mentally incapacitated. They would live under the protection of a trustee.
An Advanced Health Care directive, Finacial Power of Attorney, and Limited Power of Attorney are all documents you may like to review with your estate planning lawyer.
Make sure to update who your trustee or designated agent will be. This person will have your life in their hands.
Consult a Professional With Trust and Estate Planning
Families, even young ones, should work with estate planning lawyers. Not only would child care be a major concern, but financial planning as well.
Naming someone in a will won’t override a beneficiary. How is that for food for thought?
Estate planning has plenty of loopholes. Many of which may prevent a gift from being presented to whom you intend.
With more assets comes more paperwork. A lawyer would make it much easier to understand the world of legal jargon, after all, they went to school for it.
Know Your States Estate Tax Laws
Even after death, the government still wants its share.
Some states have an inheritance and others do not. Contact estate planning lawyers to help you either reduce any possible tax or navigate you through what will await loved ones in the future.
State and federal taxes vary and unfortunately are two separate bills. On a federal level, in 2021, estates worth less than $11.7 million are exempt from federal tax.
Life is constantly changing, and the people that come into our lives change as well. Be it ending a friendship, a divorce, or even a death; our trust and estate plans should reflect the changes in our lives.
We never know where life will take or much less where death may lead. Estate planning will assist us with both planned and unplanned occurrences. So give often, create your directives, know your tax laws, and ALWAYS consult a professional.
Interested in learning more about trust and estate planning? Check out our other articles.