Anyone who will have assets in their estate at death (regardless of amount) should consider the need for estate planning. If you don’t plan how to distribute your assets at your death, then your state of residence will often impose its rules for how your assets will be distributed. It’s very unlikely your view on how to distribute assets is consistent with what your state laws might say.

If your estate is large enough that it may incur estate taxes, then you certainly have a more complicated situation and you should consult the necessary experts to help you with that (this could include tax attorneys, CPAs, insurance agents, etc.). Estate-tax laws have recently changed, so even if you believe you have already taken the necessary steps to deal with possible estate taxes, it’s worth talking to your advisors just to make sure your plans have been updated for the current tax rules.

Most people won’t have an estate large enough that they will incur estate taxes, but that does not mean you shouldn’t consider the need for estate planning. Only you know what your real intent is for what you have worked so hard to accumulate. That includes not only who will be the heirs to your estate, but other considerations as well, like structuring your estate so a third party (like a trust company) would be used to help to provide oversight after your death if you believe some of your heirs lack the financial acumen to manage the assets they will be receiving. And people may have different priorities for how they want their estate assets to be used–some may want it used for college education; some might want assets used for the purchase of a first home or an upgraded home.

This is why everyone needs to have an estate plan that provides good direction on your intentions. I can think of very few things that are more important than this.

By |2016-03-07T18:13:01+00:00December 3rd, 2015|Uncategorized|

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