Top 10 Tips for Estate Planning

It is a difficult subject to talk about creating your estate plan and last will and testament while you are alive. But it is the right thing to do in your life so that your wealth can be probated to your heir without them getting into any trouble. For this, you need to craft an estate plan that reflects your legacy clearly and help your family or beneficiaries to go through the probate process without any disparity.

Here are the top 10 tips from our Estate Planning Attorney to create an estate plan in the most effective way possible.

Wealth Management-

List all the assets you own and create a plan to accumulate all the resources so that you understand the overall worth of your assets. If you own a house, then make definite plans for it in the estate plan, so that it passes to the right heir. Add “transfer on death” or “joint right of survivorship” in your deed for a smooth transfer of the house.

Protect Your Assets

Life is unpredictable, and it’s essential to structure your investments and your retirement savings in such a way to reduce the risks of old age health problems and help you live your life on your terms. Always consider your current lifestyle for your retirement in the plan so that you do not have to face difficult situations in later stages. Estate planning suggests many strategies where you can protect your income and assets.

Plan for contingencies

Always have a backup plan to survive if some unexpected circumstances come up. Name more than one back up trustee and a financial institution in the estate plan. Do not hesitate to add extra trustees or an additional clause for your child if it is very young to acquire your wealth or if the heir is alcoholic and is not suitable to have your assets.

Downsides of Probate

Probate allows one to close out creditors to the probate estate within a specified period. You can also challenge the validity of a creditor’s claims in court. But Probate has a downside as well. It is expensive and takes years to conclude the true heir of your wealth, depending upon the circumstances one has in their family. It devalues the descendant’s estate.

Consolidate your Accounts Details

Try consolidating accounts paychecks, insurance policies, retirement savings, and bills throughout your lifetime to make it easy for your family to navigate and settle all financial accounts after your death. Also, list these details in your estate plan to create a roadmap for your family.

Know the tax implications of your estate plan.

The federal tax code has been updated and has raised the cap on the amount of money that can be gifted as part of an estate untaxed. Proper estate planning should be done to avoid losing most of your wealth in taxes. One can employ AB trust to minimize estate taxes.

List Beneficiaries for all your Accounts

It is essential to verify that all your accounts have a beneficiary, and it needs to be updated when you are merging two companies that you are a part of it or maybe when you are switching from paper to electronics.

Choose the Right Insurance Policy

It is advised to seek proper assistance in taking insurance policies that gives you maximum coverage and protects your wealth. Learn all the clauses of the procedures clearly, and choose what is best for you and your family.

Superannuation & SMSF

Superannuation and SMSF can be a good strategy to manage your investments and taxes. An estate planning attorney can help you with your superannuation or SMSF and create a plan that not only minimizes taxes but also provides financial benefits.

Update Your Will

Review your will regularly and update in case there is an issue in the family that might lead to risk.

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Article Author Details

Malia Swift