6 Basic Tips for Estate Planning Success
Are you new to the concept of estate planning? You may have a lot of questions about what the process entails and what the best strategies are for you to be successful.
Below are a few very basic tips we like to give to estate planning beginners who have just started working with our attorneys:
- Know your priorities: Before you start putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard), make sure you have a good sense of what your priorities are with your estate plan. Whom do you want to receive which items? What specific goals do you have with your will or trust? This will help guide you through the process much more efficiently and smoothly.
- Consider all your property: You should not just focus on the items that will pass down through your will. You should also factor in all the other valuable property you have, including insurance policies, retirement accounts and jointly owned property that won’t pass through your will. Have a plan established for all of them.
- Be as specific as possible: Vague language can leave your will or estate plan open to potential challenges, especially if there are large and valuable assets at stake. Be as specific as possible.
- Have a personal representative you trust: Your personal representative should be an organized, diligent person who is devoted to carrying out your wishes to the letter. This should be someone you trust completely and who is well-suited for the responsibilities of the position. This is one of the most important decisions you will make during the estate planning process.
- Don’t forget tax impact: If you have a valuable estate that will be potentially (or definitely) affected by estate taxes, be sure to carefully consider the tax impact of your estate planning decisions. Also be aware of how to best pass your assets with the minimum capital gains impact on your beneficiaries.
- Work with an attorney: Don’t try to do everything yourself. Although there are some DIY will-making programs out there, you’ll find you get much better results and feel much more at ease when you work with an attorney who helps individuals with wills and trusts on a daily basis.
For more estate planning tips and guidance, speak with an experienced Florida attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.