5 Basic Steps in Estate Planning

5 Basic Steps in Estate Planning

Estate planning is something that is used by individuals to facilitate the transfer of wealth upon death. Estate planning designate a beneficiary or multiple beneficiaries that will stand to inherit the estate of the deceased. Having a professional estate planner is essential in ensuring that your estate will be transferred safely and without any problems. After all, the whole reason you plan an estate is to provide for the ones you love and care about after you are gone so taking the extra time to speak to various professionals will help you determine a good fit for you, your estate, and the beneficiaries. If you are in the works of developing an estate plan or if you think you will need to plan for one in the coming future i recommend you do your research now so you are prepared and know what to expect when the time comes to develop your estate. I have compiled 5 basic steps to estate planning that will help you understand some of the most important basic factors to consider when starting your estate planning journey. 

Tax Implications

Make sure you are aware of the various tax implications that will affect your estate planning. Some people will work towards building their estate without regard to the tax implications of their investments. The whole purpose of developing an estate plan is to transfer the wealth you have accumulated over your life to someone else. As you are planning to transfer your estate to someone you want to make sure that you are not setting them up for a huge tax bill. Some districts have an inheritance tax that can leave the beneficiaries with large tax bills to deal with. The team at Atlanta Estate Law Center takes into consideration the tax implications of preparing and distributing your estate. Because this is an area where a simple mistake could cause more harm than good to your beneficiaries.

Using a Will:

Using a will is a key component of developing an estate. The will is essentially the document that states where you want your estate to go when you pass. You can add various clauses to your will and designate certain assets to specific individuals, but you should consider opting for a will that is prepared by a lawyer. The last thing you want is your will to be nullified because it is too complicated and contains too many clauses. 

Medical Power of Attorney:

It is important to elect a trusted individual to be your medical power of attorney. The person you elect will be the individual that assists you in making decisions that affect your well being and your estate when you are not able to make the decisions on yourself. It is an unfortunate reality that eventually there may be a time in your life when you are not able to make decisions for yourself, but that is why it is important to have a trusted medical power of attorney. 

Trusts:

Using trusts is another important component to consider when you develop your estate plan with your lawyer and professional estate planner. Those with large net worth will generally already have a trust set up, but those that do not should consider the benefits of setting up a trust fund as part of their estate planning. There are many different types of trusts but the main purpose of a trust is to protect assets and transfer them in a tax efficient way. Trusts are used to transfer assets from the settlor to a trustee to hold assets for your beneficiaries. Trusts play an important role in estate and general wealth planning because individuals with high net worth may want to protect the assets so that they will be transferred to the beneficiaries without the threat of complications arising. This could occur if someone sued you and you owned the asset personally. The person suing you may be able to affect your financial situation, but in most cases, they will not be able to directly affect the trust. Again, trusts can get a bit complicated, so I do recommend talking to a lawyer specialized in trusts.  

Talk to a professional 

The most important tip I can give you is to speak to a professional estate planner that can help you with all the ins and outs. Planning your estate is an important matter that should not be taken lightly. You want to make sure you have the right people on your team so that you can protect your future and provide a nice estate for the ones you love. Make sure you find the best estate planners as they will consider all viable options and consider the pros and cons of each decision throughout your plan. 

I would recommend talking to a professional when you begin planning your estate. It is critical that you think about the tax implications and use the various estate planning tools that were mentioned in the article above. Make sure that you use a profession to gain valuable insights into what estate planning tools are best for you. The use of a trust may be used to help protect assets during distribution and appointing your medical power of attorney is vital if you want to ensure good decisions will be made regarding your estate when you are unable to make important decisions on your own. If you consider all the factors and use a professional you should be able to leave behind a legacy for the ones you truly care about. 

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