When you pass away, your assets can end up going to your family, friends, charity, or the government. This is why it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced estate planning attorney to get help drafting a will and setting up the right trusts so that your beneficiaries can avoid the hassle of probate and make the most of the gifts you intend to leave them.
Your estate plan blueprint should consist of the following:
- Regular Check-Ups: You should reassess your estate plan every couple of years and after any major life events such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, pay raise, etc. This needs to be specified in your planning strategy.
- Review Your Options: If you decide to set up a trust, will, or any other estate planning tools, you need to make sure you understand all your options and discuss the pros and cons, as well as their tax implications, with your attorney.
- Make a Plan for Charitable Gifts: You should ask your attorney if lifetime gifting makes sense for your situation. For lifetime and at-death gifts, the unified exemption amount is $23.16 million per couple. If the value of your estate exceeds the per-couple threshold, then you should consider making lifetime gifts now in case the threshold decreases in the future.
- Keep Your Beneficiaries Informed: Let your family know what your estate plan is and where they fit into it. Doing this can avoid hurt feelings and fighting amongst family after you pass away. Provide your beneficiaries with a general summary of what you anticipate, along with details about who will be the trustees and executors of your estate.
To get started drafting your estate plan with a seasoned lawyer at The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (239) 309-2870 or contact us online to request a consultation.