However hard we try and fight it, the aging process happens to us all. Although it’s hard to believe, one day you won’t be around any longer. This can feel daunting, especially when you think about where your assets will go. If you have children, in particular, you’ll want to make sure they’re well looked after once you leave the earth.
While you won’t be around to play a part in sorting your estate, you do have an input in what happens with it after you’ve passed. To leave no stone unturned, here are some important things to consider when estate planning.
Create a Will
A core component of estate planning involves creating a will. This is a legally-binding, formal document that establishes your wishes after you have died, including who you want to handle your estate and how you’d like your assets to be divided. Your will can also feature instructions for any pets or dependents.
You can enlist the help of an estate planning attorney like Paula Montoya Law to assist you with drawing up a will. They have extensive experience in estate planning and probate and international estate planning.
Set Up a Trust
When thinking about your passing, it’s normal to have concerns about what your family will do in the aftermath. You may have specific worries about certain family members misspending your money or someone receiving a huge wad of cash upon your death. The most sensible option regarding looking after your money is to set up a trust.
You can appoint a trustee who’ll distribute your wealth as you see fit. What’s more, any money within the trust is not subject to estate taxes. Although, once your assets are in a trust, they don’t belong to you any longer. An estate planning attorney can also help you with this task.
Name Your Beneficiaries
You may tell family members and friends what they can expect from your state following your death. However, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your wishes will be respected. There is a genuine risk of your wishes being contested unless you’ve got legally named assets and people.
To stop this from occurring, you must legally name beneficiaries for your assets. Make sure to update them as the years pass too. For those who have a life insurance policy, you may have the option to name beneficiaries when setting it up.
Gift Your Money
If your estate is subject to substantial taxes, this could result in your loved ones receiving less than you would have liked. To keep your family financially supported after your passing, you may wish to consider giving them money while you are still alive.
In the United States, you can hand over $15,000 per year to one person without needing to pay tax. Although, if you decide to gift assets this way, be aware of value appreciation. This is because depending on when you gift the money, you may need to pay tax on it if the value is adjusted and ends up being worth greater than $15,000 following your death.
We understand that thinking about your mortality isn’t exactly the nicest of things to do. However, when it comes to supporting your children and family once you’ve passed, you’ll be thankful you got everything in order.