Many of us tend to believe that creating an estate plan is all about drafting a trust or will. However, needless to say, that’s entirely wrong. When you’re working on estate planning process, you’ll need to make the whole aspect of transferring your assets to your heirs seamlessly.
A perfect estate planning session should also include provisions enabling your family members to control or access your assets. This way, even if something goes wrong on your side, someone from your close circle can take care of your resources.
Ideal Practices For Estate Planning
As mentioned before, executing an estate plan can be pretty challenging. Therefore, if you want to make your job a little easier, make sure to follow our checklist as closely as possible.
Tip – 1: Keep Your Stuff In An Inventory
In the beginning, you may feel like you don’t have enough valuables to keep in your inventory. However, once you begin looking around, you’ll be surprised to see the number of intangible and tangible assets you have –
The tangible assets of your house may include –
- Land, home, or any other form of real estate.
- Collectibles, such as art, coins, antiques, or trading cards.
- Vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, and boats.
- Various other personal possessions.
The intangible assets available in your estate are –
- Bonds, stocks, and mutual funds.
- Saving and checking account.
- Certification of deposit.
- Retirement plans.
- Business ownership and health saving account.
- Life insurance policies.
Once you have kept your assets in an inventory, make sure to estimate their value as soon as possible. In some cases, you will need to opt for an outside valuation like the following –
- Financial account statements.
- Recent appraisals of your house.
In case there’s no outside valuation available, you can consult with an estate planning lawyer in Las Vegas. You may also ask how your heirs will value them.
Tip – 2: Get Your Will Done
Creating a trust or a will might sound a little complicated or expensive – something which only rich people need to have. However, that’s a false assessment.
A will should be the primary component of your estate plan, even if there’s no substantial asset available for you. It’ll help you distribute your assets in accordance with your wishes amongst the heirs of your property.
Some trusts can also help in limiting legal challenges or estate taxes.
However, remember; only having a will won’t be enough for your purpose. Besides, it would be best if you also focused on the wording you’ve used in the document. Make sure to opt for an Estate Planning Attorney in Las Vegas if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
Tip – 3: Opt For Gifting Assets
Gifting cash is, in essence, an estate planning alternative that decreases the amount of money in your property. It releases the recipient and you from paying a hefty amount of tax for the gift.
You can gift around USD 15,000 per year to every individual without having to pay any gift tax. However, if you are sending the money to your spouse, it might not be subjected to a gifting tax regardless of how much you’re paying.
Tip – 4: Be Careful About The Beneficiary Designation
As you know, some of your possessions will be transferred automatically to your heirs, even if they aren’t dictated in your trust. Due to this reason, it becomes pretty crucial for you to maintain a proper beneficiary – and, of course, a contingent beneficiary.
If you haven’t named any beneficiary or the person has deceased, your fate will be decided by a court. Frankly speaking, the judge, who’s unaware of your beliefs, situation, or intent, will not make the same decision as you.
Important Note: The beneficiary you are considering naming in your will should be mentally competent and over 21. If they aren’t, a court might get involved in your case again. In that case, you will have to hire an Estate Planning Attorney Las Vegas and counter the plan of action accordingly.
In essence, estate planning isn’t all about deciding how you can divvy up your assets following your death. Besides that, you will also need to help access your property as flexibly as possible. Creating trust will be an excellent place to begin your journey, but it’s only the beginning, in our opinion.