Estate Planning: Things You Need to Know
Everyone should have a plan in place in case something happens to them. Sometimes a simple will, healthcare directive, and power of attorney is sufficient. If you wish to avoid probate, you may opt to create a Revocable Living Trust. Adding a Testamentary Trust can protect the assets you leave for your loved ones and ensure those assets are not lost through divorce or creditors.
For example, you may want to protect your inheritance from going to your son’s spouse or restrict your daughter’s use of inherited funds if she lacks the financial maturity to handle a sudden influx of wealth. A Testamentary Trust allows you to impose certain restrictions and conditions on the distribution of your assets, so that your money is used how, and by whom, you want.
Even if you don’t have to worry about estate taxes, estate planning can reduce income taxes for clients of modest wealth. Any money left in an IRA or retirement account is subject to tax after the account holder’s death. By designating beneficiaries in lower tax brackets, you can reduce your family’s overall tax burden. Certain investment allocations can also provide your family with substantial savings in capital gains taxes.