Estate planning can seem overwhelming to many people and they don’t know where to begin. While there are many decisions to be made and numerous factors that must be considered, below is a simple checklist of four items that you should look into immediately:
- Create an estate plan. Although this can include several tasks, it is important to take the first step. Contact us and let us walk you through the process of creating a comprehensive estate plan. Even if you cannot afford to accomplish everything you want right now, your estate plan can be established in steps. We can begin with what fits within your finances, then upgrade later. If you have an existing estate plan, let us review it and update it if necessary. Many changes occur over time, with family, your financial status, and of course your age.
- Save on taxes. You can save a significant amount of money by taking advantage of the federal gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes. To learn more about how to do this, please contact us.
- Gifting. You are allowed to give tax-free gifts each year in an amount up to $14,000 in cash or other assets to as many individuals as you want. This strategy allows you to decrease the size of your estate (which can save on estate taxes) over time, while also benefitting your beneficiaries. You should discuss this with an estate planning attorney before embarking on gifting. Giving away assets has the obvious implication that you can’t get it back, but also, there are more tax-efficient ways of gifting than simply writing a check.
- Life insurance. You should review your life insurance policies (or look into buying one) to confirm that it meets your family’s needs and that the beneficiaries named are correct.
- Retirement Plans. You should review the beneficiary designations on your retirement plans. Naming the right primary beneficiary and secondary beneficiary is critical to your family.
Don’t be intimidated by the estate planning process. We can help simply it for you while also ensuring that you and your family are protected.
The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.