How We Help

Show Me Where to Begin » Estate Planning

Making financial decisions now and putting the necessary financial documents in place can lower your estate taxes when you die.

Each state has a different set of laws concerning estate taxes, and the federal government also has estate tax laws. Consulting with an attorney familiar with state and federal laws will allow you to create a plan to transfer your financial assets to your heirs in the most tax-efficient manner possible.

Don’t Put It Off

Estate planning is an easy task to put off until “later.” You may feel that you don’t have enough assets to need a will, or don’t know who to choose as a guardian for your children, or how to approach someone to be your personal representative or trustee. It’s very easy to not get started, but in the long run, procrastination can cost you and your family plenty.

Each year many healthy individuals die unexpectedly due to an accident. Without a will, their assets are divided according to state law, rather than the way they may have wished.

Who Needs A Will?

First of all, it’s important that you have a will, so that you can document who you want to receive your assets, rather than leaving it up to representative chosen by a county judge. Even with limited assets, choosing “who gets what” can be comforting for you, and even more helpful for those you leave behind.

In addition, your will names the people you wish to appoint for the jobs necessary in administering your estate. If you don’t have a will, a family member may have to petition the court to serve as executor and post a bond. In some cases, the bond will cost more than you would have paid to do a will in the first place.

Planning Resources

There are plenty of resources available to offer guidance with estate planning. You can work with a local attorney who specializes in helping individuals and families plan their estate and creating the legal documents.
Bookstores and the Internet also provide a wealth of additional content and resources, but be vigilant to confirm the validity of any advice in relation to the laws of your state.

How to Prepare

Organizing your financial and legal documents before you sit down with an expert can save time and money. Gather your paperwork on life insurance, retirement plans and IRAs, or any other programs where you have a designated beneficiary.

If you are currently obligated to pay child support, maintenance or other financial settlements, or if you have a prenuptial agreement, community property agreement, or trust agreement, be sure to bring them to the meeting. If you or your spouse are not US citizens, different rules may apply to your estate plan, so be sure to consult with an attorney.

Although DeathWise® does not provide legal resources, advice or documentation, we do encourage you to take the steps to prepare your estate and your family’s financial plan.

Related Issues
Debts and other liabilities
Direct transfer of assets
Durable power of attorney for finances
Life insurance
Safe deposit box
Will or living trust

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>