Rest assured that every member of your family will get only what you want to give them. If you’re working hard to build up your fortune and acquire a large portfolio of valuable assets, it’s natural to think about protecting it from all uncertainties life brings. However, what you may think is a reasonable protective measure and what the law states as a required action upon your assets in certain life events, often largely differs. Instead of risking to find it out, hire an estate planning lawyer and rest assured your assets will be taken care of as you want to and no other way.
Everything you own in terms of real estate, assets, debts, personal belongings, pensions, life insurances and other forms of assets, comprise your estate. The procedure of defining, notarizing and sealing with signature and stamp your desire of what should happen to your estate after your death, is known as estate planning.
Estate planning is different than a simple estate will, and that’s where its huge importance comes from. A will is a simple legal document that only expresses the decedent’s intention for burial and to whom he/she wants to leave money. The will here acts as a probate, which with a judge’s permission allows money to be transferred from the decedent's account to the beneficiaries account. However, that also creates an opportunity for third party relatives to contest the will. Also, a judge can misinterpret the will and that can tie the assets in court for years.
That’s why this measure is also known as estate planning asset protection, because instead of leaving it to luck and common sense, you know exactly what will happen to your belongings after you’re no longer present to protect and manage them.
There are many reasons why estate planning is important, and we’ll emphasize the ones we think are most essential to be considered by everyone.
Eliminates the possibility of your assets ending up in non-intended beneficiaries - the most obvious of reasons. You know your family members individually and personally, and you know who can do what with the assets they’d inherit from you. A judge doesn’t know that, which is why you don’t want someone else to rule who will get ownership over your belongings after you’re gone. With a proper estate will, you’ll rest assured that your assets will be transferred to whom you want them to be.
To learn more about this scenario, contact us for a free consultation.
There are many estate planning forms according to the state you live in and what you’re trying to achieve with them. Finding them and filling them out on your own is possible, but not so advisable. After all, these are legal documents that concern your assets and the last you want to happen is a mistake that can cost you more than hiring an estate planning attorney.
We can categorize all estate planning tools in three groups:
Many people make a huge mistake thinking that estate planning is only for the extremely wealthy people. They assume that you need to have millions in assets in order to start paying tax money to your state, and that’s why they don’t concern themselves much. But, they’re wrong.
What many people fail to understand is that there’s a huge step up in basis on inherited assets and the income taxes. How investment property and second homes are valued after death and how taxes are levied against traditional IRAs and 401(k)s when inherited by someone other than a spouse differs largely. Plus, there’s the state that will also ask for their piece of the pie.
Judging by the complexity of these financial and legal matters, it’s highly recommended to consult an accountant and your personal estate planning attorney to better understand the step up in basis for property.
Meanwhile, here are 5 most common estate planning strategies that you can discuss with your lawyer:
Make sure your estate planning documents are all well-prepared on time. Here’s what the checklist should include:
How much will it cost you to have your assets secured and take care of after your death depends largely in the state you live in and on your particular desires and wishes. However, having a personal estate planning lawyer who will guide you through this process and will make sure everything is done properly, is a worthy investment. For more information, we invite you to contact us and schedule your informative meeting with our estate planning lawyers.
Estate attorneys help outline the distribution of assets and properties after a person’s death. They’re bar certified estate lawyers, specialized in estate planning and as such help people draft legal documents such as will and trusts and guide them through the legal procedures for asset division and management. They also may engage in devising ways for people to reduce taxes or fees that may be imposed on a property.
Your assets and property are important and valuable to you, so you want someone with experience, skills and morals to take care of this matter. Make sure the lawyer you choose for yourself is clear and precise in his/her communication, doesn’t hide anything from you and has your best interest in mind.
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