What is estate planning?
It isn’t for only the very old or the very wealthy. Estate planning is defined as a continuum; it is the accumulation, preservation and subsequent transference of wealth. It will help protect the ones you love and should be considered an essential part of any sound investment plan.
Planning for the orderly transfer of your assets after your death can save important time, money, and grief for your estate and your heirs.
An estate plan will assist you in:
- Preserving assets in the event of your incapacity during life
- Directing distribution of your assets
- Protecting the value of the estate from cost associated with taxes, professional fees and court costs for the benefit of your heirs
- Fulfilling charitable objectives
Important Estate Planning Strategies:
Gifting allows you to maximize the amount of money that you can give away during your lifetime, thus reducing your taxable estate. Each person has the right to gift $12,000 per year per recipient without triggering the gift tax. If married, a couple may give as much as $24,000 per year to each recipient.
There is no limit to how much you can give to a charity. There is also an added benefit of gifting appreciated securities, which will eliminate capital gains tax on sale of the securities.
Establishment of Trusts
There are many types of trusts that you can establish. The main concept is that you declare an amount of property and/or assets to be transferred, managed and controlled by another person (called a trustee) for the benefit of someone else (a beneficiary). This allows you to transfer your wealth, lower your taxes, and provide for your family.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified or legal advisor.