When some people hear about estate planning, they either think it is something that only rich people do or they think of it as something far too complicated for the average person to comprehend. While it is true that there are certain complicated facets of estate planning, it is not true that only rich people plan their estate. Physical or monetary assets, regardless of how much, constitute an estate. Making sure that that estate is properly disseminated to loved ones or charities after a person’s death is exactly the type of services that estate planning attorneys provide.
The Death Tax
To touch on every facet of estate planning would be impossible, but there are a few things that the average person can benefit from when planning their estate. Most people won’t cross the threshold of monetary value that would impose the estate tax. These taxes are imposed on estates that are valued over $5 million. However, the probate process can be rather cumbersome to loved ones that are waiting for inheritance after the estate owner passes away.
Legal Representation During Probate
In this case, naming an executor of a person’s estate is important. If that person has no legal experience, naming a probate attorney to help them through the process makes a great deal of sense. Also, tying up assets that are going to be disseminated to spouses or other family members in life insurance policies avoids any tax implications to the beneficiaries of those policies.
Reduce or Pay Off Debt
Also, trying to remain as debt-free as possible is also beneficial. One of the biggest aspects of the probate process is not only valuing an estate but paying off all the existing debts the estate has. If these debts are minimal, or the debts are paid off before a person passes away, it can significantly expedite the probate process.
These are just a few of the things that estate planning attorneys will recommend to their clients. With people that have estates of varying values, different strategies will be implemented to make sure the estate is as well prepared for a person’s death as possible. That’s why, if you haven’t begun to plan your estate, whether you have some assets or very few, you may want to visit us to learn more about beginning the process of planning your estate.
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