When you’ve worked long and hard for your assets, the last thing you want is your money being spent on taxes and other unnecessary administrative expenses. To avoid such a fiasco, remember the following tips:
Verify your Beneficiary designations: If you fail to complete your beneficiary designation forms, these policies become part of your estate and your family will need to go through the probate process to claim them. This is true even if you have a trust! Be sure that your beneficiaries are properly designated and that you have not designated any minors.
Create a Trust: With a properly funded trust, probate can be avoided. A trust also allows you to choose who will handle your estate and how assets are to be distributed. Further, a trust is necessary for anybody with minor children to avoid Court entanglements. Married couples can also save a significant amount on estate taxes with the proper trust plan. Trusts can avoid probate, save on death taxes, and properly plan for minors and other beneficiaries.
Start a Gifting Program: Individuals are permitted to gift up to $15,000 per person annually without any tax consequences. If you’re married, you can combine your gifts to provide for $30,000! Not only is this excellent way to ensure that your money stays within the family, but it can potentially also make a tremendous difference for some of your loved ones.
There are many different planning opportunities and there are tax and administrative consequences to consider with all of them. Call us today so we can strategize how to keep the most money within your family.