What will happen to your estate when you're gone? Wealth transfer has become an important issue for many families today. Individuals with assets of any size should worry about detailed estate preservation planning. The fact is, most of us should prepare for the eventual transfer of our assets, regardless of any tax or legal consequences.
Estate preservation planning can seem complicated, but the concept is fairly simple. The greatest challenge is deciding exactly what you want to accomplish with your estate. Typically, estate preservation planning involves the following objectives:
- Control -- If you do not decide who gets what, the state will! A carefully drafted will allows you to specify who will receive your property when you die.
- Conservation -- Your heirs could lose a sizable chunk of your estate to settlement costs. You can reduce estate shrinkage through trusts, gifts and other options.
- Liquidity -- If money is not readily available to pay final expenses, your assets may have to be sold, perhaps at bargain prices.
- Survivor Care -- Depending on the ages and health of your survivors, you may want to provide income or funds to assist in their future care.
Estate Tax Calculation: Estimating your estate's net worth and potential federal estate tax burden.
Gift Strategies: Taking advantage of lifetime transfers and the federal gift tax $13,000 annual exclusion.
Charitable Giving Strategies: Taking advantage of the federal income and estate tax charitable deduction.
Family Partnerships Strategies: Taking advantage of family partnerships to reduce federal estate tax.
Marital Deduction and Unified Credit Strategies: Taking advantage of the federal estate tax marital deduction and estate tax exemption.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust Strategies: Achieving tax savings with a properly structured irrevocable life insurance trust.
Note: For other estate planning services (wills and trusts), contact an attorney who specializes in estate planning services.
This material is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regards to the subject matter covered and is not rendering legal, accounting, or tax advice. For answers to specific questions and before making any decisions please consult a qualified attorney or tax advisor.