5 Estate Planning Must-Knows

There is a lot of mystery and confusion that often surrounds estate planning. Sorting through all of the information available can leave people feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. A recent survey from Caring.com found that 78% of Millennials (ages 18-36) and 64% of Generation Xers (ages 37-52) do not have a will. This oversight can cost time and money down the road, not the situation most people hope for when they imagine how their assets will be passed along. We help take the mystery out of estate planning with these 5 must-knows so you can start the planning process with a clear mind and a clear path forward.

1. A Will is Just the Beginning

Many people believe that creating a will is the only thing required when estate planning. The truth is that creating a will is only one small step in the estate planning process. A will allows you to dictate how your assets will be divided. You can determine who should take care of your children, who receives what assets and other property-related wishes. While it is important to create a will, it is equally important to understand that a will is not the only thing needed to ensure your wishes are carried out quickly and stress-free.

 

2. Estate Planning Saves Heirs on Taxes

Ensuring your loved ones get your belongings and assets is just one part of estate planning. The other aspect is ensuring that no one is left with a hefty tax bill in return for receiving your assets. State and federal inheritance taxes can quickly add up. This tax obligation can be a big surprise and a very stressful situation. Luckily, there are estate planning tactics designed to allow you to reduce the tax bill for your heirs.

 

3. A Trust Can Save Time and Stress

Many people believe that creating a will is the best way to ensure that their assets are given to the right people. Depending on the type of assets, a trust may be a more effective way to ensure your loved ones receive their inheritance quickly. One of the main benefits of a trust is that the assets avoid the probate process. This can greatly speed up the time it takes to review that everything makes it into the hands of the right people. 

4. Estate Planning Can Reduce Family Arguments

One sad reality of the passing of a loved one is the arguments and legal battles that can arise among surviving family members. Individuals will argue over who gets what, how much, and when. Estate planning helps prevent this, saving time and money. Take time during the estate planning process to ensure you choose someone to manage your estate the way you hope it would be, even if that means finding someone who is not a member of the family.

 

5. Naming Beneficiaries of Financial Assets Can Save Time

Much of the estate planning process has to do with helping your loved ones avoid long, drawn-out procedures after your passing. Ensuring you have the names of your beneficiaries on all of your financial assets and accounts will simplify the process, so going through all of your financial assets individually is a great exercise.

 

At Mooney Lyons, we work with families to help them plan and prepare so that their assets are managed in the way they wish after their passing. We strive so that your heirs are not burdened by large tax bills and drawn out legal battles.

If you want to leave behind a positive legacy, then one of the first steps is professional estate planning. Contact our estate planning specialists today to book your personalized appointment.