Identify Your Assets to Develop an Ideal Estate Plan
Preparing for an estate planning discussion with your attorney by diligently inventorying all of your assets beforehand can greatly improve the estate planning experience and make the process more efficient.
CNN Money advises a list of actions that should be taken as an individual enters the estate planning process:
- List all your assets. These include your investments, retirement accounts, insurance policies, real estate and business interests.
- Decide what you want to achieve with these assets and whom you wish to have inherit them.
- Think about people you trust to handle your financial affairs and medical care if you become incapacitated.
- Discuss the bequests with your heirs. The sooner you approach heirs and make your intentions clear, the less risk there is of misunderstandings and backlash when you pass away.
Estate planning is far more complicated for people with large estates. Having an experienced estate planning attorney is critical to successful tax planning.
Bear in mind that estate planning laws frequently change. For now, the federal estate tax exemption is $5.25 million, but this could change depending on legislative action. An estate plan may need to be revised and updated periodically, whether it is due to changes in the law, or changes in an individual’s assets or testamentary goals.
Information provided is of a general nature and does not act as a substitute for a personal discussion with an attorney. Your circumstances may create different legal opportunities.