When you discuss things with a licensed estate planning attorney, you can go forward in a fully informed manner. Ultimately, you can emerge from the interaction with a personalized estate plan that ideally suits your needs.
In this post we will look at some questions that you may want to ask your estate planning attorney.
Is my estate subject to taxation?
For most people, the answer to this question is no. There is a federal estate tax, but there is a $5.43 million exclusion in 2015.
This is the amount that you can transfer tax-free. If the value of your estate does not exceed the amount of the exclusion, you are not exposed. On the other hand, if you are faced with estate tax exposure, there are steps that you can take to gain estate tax efficiency.
If I’m not extremely wealthy I should record my final wishes in a last will, right?
You can use a last will to facilitate asset transfers, but you have other options, even if you are not wealthy.
If you use a will, the executor or personal representative would be required to admit the will to probate. This is a legal process that can be time-consuming and costly.
A revocable living trust can be a good alternative to a last will, because the trustee can distribute assets to the beneficiaries outside of probate.
Plus, you would have the ability to instruct the trustee with regard to the nature of the distributions.
Aside from asset transfers, what else I should I be concerned about?
A well constructed estate plan will address end-of-life issues. Your estate plan should include documents called advance directives for health care.
One advance directive is the living will. You use this type of will to record your life-support preferences.
Your incapacity component should also include a durable power of attorney for health care. You name an agent to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation with this document.
Another durable power of attorney can be used to empower a financial representative.
Free Estate Planning Report
We have provided some very basic information in this brief question-and-answer piece. If you would like to learn more about the value of estate planning, download our special report. This in-depth report will provide you with a great deal of foundational information, and it is free to our readers at the present time. To get your copy, visit this page and follow the simple instructions: San Jose CA Estate Planning.
Free Living Trust Seminars
We also regularly offer free living trust seminars. To see a list of our current seminars and to register, follow this link: Free Seminars and Workshops