There are several components of estate planning that may make it seem like a frightening concept at first. Although it may seem daunting, estate planning holds lasting benefits. Put simply, this process is planning ahead for your family. Whether you wish to pass on your business to your children or make sure a family heirloom stays within the care of your loved ones, the experts at Bandre, Hunt & Snider are here to ensure the legacy you create is passed on to the right people. We are here to help you strategically plan and organize your assets in a way that removes any financial burdens from your loved ones if not correctly addressed. Estate planning at Bandre, Hunt & Snider is an act of care that establishes peace of mind in knowing your assets are being preserved with respect to your family and legacy.
The Importance of Estate Planning
Here is a break down of the alternative should you choose not to partake in estate planning. If your assets are not properly addressed, your family loses the immediate right to your possessions and property. The fate of your assets will be left to the decisions of the court system and your belongings are no longer ensured to reach the people you would have wanted to obtain them.
Choosing not to manage your estate will also put your family at risk for higher taxation. Forgoing estate planning can result in a financial mess for your family as it can incur a large loss of money if there is no plan in place with regards to inheritance. Finally, estate planning can prevent family discord over the distribution of assets and eliminates all uncertainty of what will happen to your valuables.
The Beginning Stage of Estate Planning
A large component of estate planning is financial planning and distribution. During this, we discuss what financial assets you have as of now, what is needed, and if it is enough to continue taking care of your dependents in the event of your passing. Throughout your lifetime, you have most likely procured many assets and valuables that you may not have even considered could be a part of your legacy. This is where our experts come in to help you assess what all is in your possession that may be included in your family’s inheritance. This part of the process is very important because it ensures that no stone is left unturned and everything that could be passed on to loved ones is properly addressed.
Choosing a plan- Trust or Will?
In their respective similarities, both wills and trusts allow you to name the beneficiaries of your properties and assets. However, there are some differences that may make one option better than the other, depending on your situation and preferences.
The components of a trust
A trust is something that you can draft and edit throughout your lifetime. It can be changed accordingly as your assets fluctuate. In a sense, it can be described as less permanent and final since it is easily accessible at any time to adjust. A trust also has the ability to set up provisions for what happens to your assets in the course of your lifetime. The document is later passed on to a trustee, someone you trust with the management of your assets to make decisions regarding your estate after you no longer can. Because the trustee is in charge of your assets, there is no need for court oversight as this is also a private document.
The components of a will
A will, unlike a trust, does not come into effect until after the event of your passing. It is a public document that becomes adjudicate before a court setting. The probate court is there to ensure the directions of the will are carried out in a legal way that follows your wishes. With a will, a legal guardian is appointed who oversees that the components of your will are carried out in accordance with your wishes. A will addresses any property that is in your name when you pass. This legal document also allows you to name the guardian of your children as well as specific funeral arrangements, something that is not mentioned in a trust. While the line between a will and trust may not appear entirely clear, we are here to help you make the distinction that will better the future for both you and your family.
How Bandre, Hunt & Snider Can Help You Plan a More Certain Future
Our goal is to help you build, manage and preserve your wealth. Our estate planning lawyers have the experience to help you plan a more certain future. We take a unique approach to each client as we understand every situation is different. It is our desire to find the best plan for you that gives you the piece of mind you deserve. What makes us stand out is we are with you every step of the way to offer expert advice on how to most successfully preserve your wealth and belongings. If you have not seen a lawyer about your estate, we highly recommend doing so. It is a surprisingly inexpensive investment, which if done properly, can bring huge dividends and peace of mind.
Estate Planning FAQ
When is the right time to begin estate planning?
It is never too early to begin this process. The best way to avoid disputes among loved ones is to plan ahead. You do not want your financial burdens of the past to negatively affect the financial state of your loved ones after you have passed. Addressing any debts you have incurred is something that should be taken care of in a timely manner to ensure those costs do not fall upon your family members. Have a discussion among those you wish to possess your assets to in order to ensure that your family and friends are all aware of your intentions. This will give both you and your family peace of mind as there will be no confusion on who receives what.
What tax laws should I be aware of when estate planning?
If you are planning on leaving all of your assets to your spouse, you do not need to worry about future taxation. You can leave an unlimited amount to your spouse, tax-free. However, if this is not the case, you should stay updated on what the estate tax exemption is at the time. As of 2018, the threshold is 5.6 million in valuables that can be passed on to heirs.
What assets are included in estate planning?
Every financial asset you have acquired throughout your lifetime is included. This is comprised of everything from your financial investments, any existing accounts, real estate, insurance policies, business ventures and any valuable items you may possess.