Estate Planning by realestatetips4u


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                                     Estate Planning

Estate planning involves distributing your assets after death to such people or causes
according to your wish with minimum legal complications and the least tax incidence. And
estate planning is not just for the wealthy; nor is it something to be contemplated when you
reach the ripe old age of eighty.

Anybody, irrespective of age, with considerable assets and the desire to provide for dear ones
even after death would be doing a great service by planning one’s estate. And the best time to
plan your estate is now when you are still alive and have the requisite mental health to make
rational decisions. An estate plan made during an illness affecting contracting capacity can be
challenged, complicating matters for beneficiaries. Remember, death or a debilitating illness
affecting your legal capacity to contract might strike you any day; therefore, you should
prepare for that eventuality beforehand. ¿da

The first step in planning your estate is to take stock of all your material possessions
(technically referred to as ‘estate’), and then determine their value. Typical items comprising
the estate include: house(s) and land; bikes, cars, planes and boats; cash-in-hand; savings
accounts, pension accounts; certificates of deposits; stocks, bonds, and mutual funds;
insurance and annuities; employee benefits; jewelry, furniture, art collections; ownership
rights/interests in businesses; and claims against others. Mind you, the list is not exhaustive
and your debts and obligations to others are also a part of your estate.

Next, line up the details of your beneficiaries – names, addresses, and ages. In addition, you
should determine who should be the trustees/guardians in case the beneficiaries are minors at
the time of planning the estate. Also, you must identify an executor of the estate. It would be
easy if you line up pre and post nuptial agreements, divorce decrees, previous wills, deeds of
real estate property, and latest tax returns before you consult a professional estate planner.

Though small estates might be easy to plan, it is advisable to take the help of professional
estate planners, including attorneys and CPAs, to explore all the possibilities to reduce tax

Remember, estate planning is not a one-time affair. Any change in your marital status, death of
beneficiaries, a birth of a child, or changes in the law will require a review of the plan.

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