Part of loving our family means creating a plan for our assets for their future. Whoever your loved ones are, please do not put off the process of planning. Estate planning is not simply creating a will, but rather a more complex process that requires an up-to-date legal understanding, awareness of your personal preferences, and understanding of shifting economic factors. When you plan your estate, the law should be working to protect your hard work and your family’s future.
Understand your situation and goals
In order to plan your estate, you must assess your current and future income, your assets, your debts, and the various tax implications for your unique situation. Then, you must decide how to use legal tools to best protect your assets and best provide for those you care about.
Employ the right Estate Planning vehicles
How much planning and what tools you use all depends on your priorities and assets. Below is an overview of some of the basic estate planning tools and how they should be used.
Wills are a legal outline of your wishes for your property and assets. This can include distribution of property, administration of your estate, and who will take care of your children. It is important to have an understanding of state requirements for proper will construction so that it will be able to be legally upheld. It is equally important to have a will that matches your wishes. Wills are subject to probate laws, or the state laws that protect and govern estate administration
Trusts are entities that can hold and protect your assets for your loved ones. As they are not subject to review in a Probate, they can be a less expensive and time-consuming option.