Having a solid estate plan is crucial for all assets. It will help eliminate any misunderstandings over who gets what when you pass away. Even small estates will benefit from a well-thought-out plan. Consider the following four factors when putting together a comprehensive estate plan:
A will is traditionally the foundation of an estate plan. It names the person you want to handle your assets when you die. A will can name beneficiaries for your assets, but it will not address all of them. You can include other strategies in your plan, as well. In addition, you may wish to incorporate healthcare or financial powers of attorney as part of your plan. Regardless of the strategy you choose, a will is an important part of an estate plan.
Joint ownership is another important estate planning factor. Joint ownership, or tenancy-by-the-entirety, means that the property will automatically pass to the other person after one owner dies. The other form of joint ownership, known as tenancy by the entirety, only applies to married couples. The latter form is not recognized by every state, so a proper estate plan is critical. Joint ownership is an important tool to use for estate planning, and you should consider whether or not this strategy is right for you.
If you have a business, you should create a succession plan or buyout agreement. These documents are crucial to the success of your business, and a durable power of attorney gives your designated agent the power to handle all your property. These documents are also essential to keep your estate documents organized. If you need help creating a comprehensive estate plan, check out WillMaker & Trust. You can also consult a trusted professional.
Review your estate plan periodically. Even if you don’t have a large estate, it is important to review it on a regular basis. Tax laws change frequently and you may need to make amendments to your plan. This will ensure that your estate plan is effective and current. So, make sure you keep up with the latest tax laws and your personal circumstances. It is never too early to update your estate plan.
If your insurance coverage changes, you should update your estate plan accordingly. Your beneficiaries designations may change. You should inform your advisor of any changes if you have new insurance policies. You should also update your guardian or trustee designations. Your advisor can help you update these plans if necessary. The more you update your plan, the better. So, update your estate plan every time you make a major change in your life.
How will you distribute your estate? Do you want your family to receive your estate? Wills and trusts are crucial tools for this process. If you’re in need of a simple will, consider a Trust & Will. However, if you’re planning for a large estate, consider a trust. Your estate plan should also consider your health. You will also want to consider the tax implications of your decisions.
Designate beneficiaries for your assets and investments. You should also designate beneficiaries for your investment accounts, retirement plans, super accounts, and other major expenses. Be sure to include their age and financial status when choosing beneficiaries. Consider whether a gift tax will be applicable. In short, estate planning needs to consider each individual’s goals. If you have specific goals, it’s important to plan ahead. If you don’t, it won’t be effective.
Major life changes may affect your plan. You might need to change your marital status or number of children. Your estate plan needs to change as well. Even major life events like divorce, death, or the birth of a child can affect your assets. If you want your loved ones to receive your estate, you’ll need to update your will. There are several ways you can do this. You should consider your current state’s laws and the changes that have happened to your life.