Jinhee Wilde Attorney says the estate planning process involves deciding who will inherit and manage your assets after your demise or disability. You do this to ensure that beneficiaries receive their inheritance without paying higher taxes, such as income tax, gift tax, estate tax, and so on. Estate consists of all small and big things you own, including properties, vehicles, collectibles, etc. You need to ensure a smooth distribution of assets among the heirs so that your legacy goes to its rightful successors even if you die or face incapacitation. Here are a few suggestions that can help you accomplish this goal. Let’s go through them at once.
How does one do estate planning?
Make an inventory
Usually, people avoid this, thinking they don’t have enough to pursue this path. But if you take note of your tangible and intangible assets, you can feel surprised. Under tangibles, you can count home, land, any other form of real estate, automobiles, collectibles (antiques, coins, art, etc.), and other belongings. Intangible asset list can include life insurance, stocks, bonds and mutual funds, retirement schemes, health savings, business, and others.
Once you have the list, you need to do valuations. To start with, you can check the current value of your home and financial statements. For others, you can decide their worth based on your heirs’ expectations. It can help everyone get an equitable share in your possessions, says Jinhee Wilde Attorney.
Protect your family needs
You may want to know whether your life insurance is enough to safeguard your family’s needs once you are gone. It becomes necessary, especially if you have a spouse and mortgage obligations that require two incomes. You may need this more if you have a child with special needs, or you have to fund their college education. When writing a will, you can nominate a guardian and an additional guardian for your kids. It can help avoid family court fights that typically exhaust everything. According to experts, you should be specific about how you want your kids to be taken care of to do away with any confusion about their upbringing.
Choose legal directives
You can establish one or more instruments to oversee the process of distribution of assets to your descendants after your death or incapacitation. These can include a trust, a living will, a power of attorney, etc. You have to study them and pick a suitable option.
Ensure your beloveds get their share
Your will and other documents may not cover everything. Hence, it is best to verify things at every end. For instance, your insurance and retirement accounts can have a nominee that you would want to ensure is there in the will or wish to change it as per the current status. These things help you to pass your possessions to people who rightfully deserve them, adds Jinhee Wilde.
You can also add contingent beneficiaries for a backup in a situation where the primary beneficiary dies before you, or you forget to update the will. Besides, being abreast of laws around estate taxes and taking professional assistance can also prove helpful.