While many people hear the term estate planning and think only individuals who have large amounts of wealth and investments need to pay attention, this is not necessarily true. Most people can benefit from some amount of estate planning, especially as they near retirement or an advanced age. There are a number of reasons for this.
Most people are certainly interested in having some control over what will happen to their assets and property after they die. Financial professionals also say that anyone who has children should absolutely have some kind of formal property disposition documentation to avoid problems.
What is a basic estate planning method that will work for most people?
Some of the most basic ways to make an estate plan include having a lawyer make a will or trust instrument. In the case of a will, this can move all of your property to the people and entities named in the document immediately, or it can pay amounts out gradually at certain times, dates, or milestones if a trust is set up. Trusts may even start moving property to other individuals or entities while the testator is still alive. This helps greatly if someone wants to start to donate money to a charitable cause and see how their assistance is being used.
The average person can probably have all of their estate administration needs met with one of these documents and some additional planning done with a lawyer.
Keep taxation in mind
Having a formal plan for how property will be disposed of also helps relatives avoid any sudden or unintended taxation issues that can cost lots of time and money to sort out. Estate taxes can become a real problem for spouses or children who receive property from a deceased person. The person setting up a trust or other estate documents will also start to receive tax benefits immediately in some situations.
Discerning the intent of the deceased owner
Courts in the U.S. have consistently looked at trusts, wills, and other estate planning documents for the purposes of trying to figure out the testator’s intent. This is the main guiding principle that will be used to prevent corruption by relatives who may want access to a deceased person’s estate, even if they were disinherited. By having properly executed documentation, there will be no doubt regarding exactly what should be done with an estate, regardless of any disputes between family members. Even something like funeral arrangements can be specifically planned and financed with the proper guidance.
Talk to an attorney in your city today
Lawyers who practice in the St. Petersburg, Florida region are available to help you focus on how your property and assets should be handled. Contact The Baby Boomers’ Barrister for additional information and help.