Estate Planning: Ideas for the Future by Curtis Lyman

April 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

While it’s important to always consult a professional for financial advice, below are some things to consider when planning out your estate.

Estate Tax: The estate tax is a tax on the value of some estates. Ninety-eight percent of estates are not wealthy enough to have the tax levied on them. Those who will pay the tax should be aware that the laws are very confusing. It is best to discuss them with a professional advisor.

Trust Funds: Money placed in a credit shelter trust fund is not subject to an estate tax. Such funds are a wise choice for those who want to leave a sizable sum to their heirs. Other types of trust funds are dependent on different assets and have various, usually positive effects. Again, a financial professional can help decide which funds to create.

Practical Matters: With confusing tax laws, various sheltering options, and the constantly changing financial landscape of the world today, it’s easy to lose sight of estate planning’s human element. It is important, then, to always keep that element in mind: If an estate must be divided, what will make everyone happy? Are some beneficiaries too young or too helpless to make good use of the money?

Considering all of these things invariably results in a better estate plan. It is important to meet with a financial advisor early, so that the proper care can be taken to develop an estate strategy that will be satisfactory for all parties. Estate laws can be confusing, but the recipe for the perfect estate plan is simple: time, involvement, and expert advice.

About the Author: With more than 30 years of experience helping people make the most of their money, Curtis Lyman is an experienced estate planning advisor.

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