An estate plan provides an orderly way to distribute your assets to your heirs in the manner and amounts that you wish, and to provide for your own well-being.
Crafting the plan
Every estate plan begins with a will. A will is important because if you don’t have one, the state has one for you that may not meet your needs. Most people would also benefit from a trust created during their lifetime. A living trust provides for your own needs while living, if incapacitated and after death. Trusts are extraordinary powerful legal and financial documents. For more advanced planning, there are important steps involving taxes, IRAs and life insurance, among others.
Asking the questions
You are unique, so is your estate plan. When you seek the guidance of estate planning professionals, here are just a few of the questions to be discussed:
• Who will benefit from the estate plan? A spouse, children, grandchildren? Other relatives? Charities?
• Does anyone need protection? Disabilities? Emotional or psychological issues? Poor judgment?
• Do you own property in multiple states? If so you face multiple probate estates, multiple court dates and multiple legal fees.
• What are your assets and where are they located?
• Are charitable gifts part of your planning? These noble intentions need careful planning.
• Who will manage the estate duties? An Executor or a Trustee? Who will handle the investments and taxes and bill-paying and resolve disputes between heirs?
With good planning heirs can receive a legacy, taxes can be minimized and you gain peace of mind knowing your affairs are in order.
© 2020 M.A. Co. All rights reserved.
Any developments occurring after February 1, 2020, are not reflected in this article.
This information is provided in partnership with The Trust Department of CoreFirst Bank & Trust.