The death of a family member can be devastating. Having to untangle your financial details without the help of a solid estate plan can make a difficult time even worse and may even put unnecessary strain on family relationships.
An estate plan can help minimize your heirs’ tax burden, simplify the probate process and speed up the distribution of your assets. It is a final gift you can give to those you love most.
One of the key elements of an estate plan is a will. It accomplishes many important tasks, including naming an executor and identifying who will be the guardian of any minor children. With these decisions made and communicated to the appropriate individuals, your executor will have a clear starting point.
Another financial vehicle you might want to include in your estate plan is a trust. There are multiple varieties of trust, each with its own purpose. For example, transferring asset ownership to an asset protection trust can prevent access by creditors. The assets held in a trust are also outside the probate process, which helps to get assets into the hands of your heirs quickly.
The person you identify as your executor will have a big job. A well-developed estate plan that spells out your final wishes will provide them with the necessary tools to perform the job successfully.
When your family is grieving, they will appreciate that you have taken the time and effort to create an estate plan that helps to simplify the process.