You're unwell, and you've known for a while that your time was coming. You didn't have an estate plan in the past, and you know that it's a good idea to put one together soon.
It can be hard to think about your health going downhill or your eventual death, but it's essential to do so in order to put together an estate plan. Your end-of-life needs and wishes can be met, but you need to establish what they are and make sure that others are going to need to abide by them.
For estate tax planning, one thing you may be interested in is a 529 plan. This is a plan that is designed to help reduce state and federal estate taxes. According to Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, no amount of money can be included in your estate for the purpose of estate taxes if it is of an interest to a qualified tuition program. What that means is that if the assets in your estate plan are designated to be used in a 529 plan, then they may reduce the overall value of your estate and will not be taxed.
An estate plan should be a reflection of your life, your wishes and your intentions. With an estate plan in place, you're establishing rules for how you want to have your assets handled and giving instructions on how to handle situations where you're injured or unable to provide care for yourself or your dependents.
Are you a snowbird? Do you love to travel south in the winter but always call New York your home? If so, you need to remember to plan for this in your estate plan.
Estate planning is an extended process. While many people think it's only about putting together a will, estate planning is actually something that should take place over time, so that you can have a will, trusts, guardianships and other legal documents in place to protect your beneficiaries and yourself.
Estate planning is something that you probably don't think about much if you're young and don't yet have a family. Despite this, it's always smart to start planning your estate as soon as you can. You may just be starting out in your career or have purchased a home for the first time; whatever you're doing in life, you want to take steps to protect it with your estate plan.
While it is never pleasant to contemplate one's own mortality, responsible spouses, parents and grandparents want to make things easier for their loved ones when they pass away. That's why most decide to plan their estate distribution and other related matters while they are still able to execute these legal documents.
When you think about estate planning, you're probably thinking about it as an individual. After all, your death or injuries will involve you on your own. However, when you plan for your passing or for a severe injury, you may wish to do so with your significant other.
One thing that people need to start accounting for in their estate plans is the protection of their digital accounts and assets. Take, for example, the number of people who have accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media pages. These accounts can be left open after a person's death, closed or converted into legacy accounts, which can be used to mourn, celebrate and remember a person after they've passed away.