7 Estate Planning Tips

Reviewed: July 31, 2014
By FinanceWeb

It’s imperative that a person keep up with the financial status of any estate that is owned. In doing this, it becomes possible to reap the benefits of tax advantages as well as make sure the estate is passed on as the owner wishes once he or she becomes deceased. As always, it’s imperative to hire an experienced attorney who handles estate planning. In addition, it’s valuable to follow the seven tips mentioned below.

Keep The Will Updated

Many people are not aware that some states deem a will as invalid after a major life event has taken place, such as a marriage or divorce. Some wills won’t even stay in effect if a person moves to a different state. Because of this, it’s important to update a will each time a major life event takes place.
Also, a  lot can happen from one year to the next. To make sure an estate is being passed on exactly as desired,  the will needs to be reviewed at least once a year. If a person wants to change any beneficiary on the will, then proper updates need to be made.

Move Risky Investments

Risky investments are exactly as the name implies –risky. Although they can make a person a lot of money, they should always be moved eventually to stable investments. This ensures that much of a person’s estate that’s tied up in investments will be safe and secure from loss.

Consider Splitting Up Property

If a married couple has assets that add up to more than $1 million, it can be advantageous in terms of taxes to split ownership of these assets so that neither party owns more than $1 million at any given time.

 Find a Trustworthy Executor

As one might imagine, it’s pertinent to leave assets to a person who can be trusted to divide them properly. If no person can be fully trusted, then each beneficiary should be named in a will to identify who gets what.

Think Carefully About The Assets Being Distributed

Not all beneficiaries are the same, and because of this, it’s important to carefully consider who is getting what. For example, a special needs child would not need money left to him or her without anything else. Instead, the child would need someone to be appointed as a caregiver, and he or she would need extra funds to pay for a home and living expenses.

Planning Is Key

A person can never plan too much when it comes to his or her estate; however, too much planning can become quite stressful. Keeping this in mind, it will always be highly valuable for a person to hire an experienced, and more importantly, trustworthy estate planning attorney.

The Takeaway

With a bit of common sense and careful preparation, anyone can rest assured that they have done their part in terms of taking care of their estates. Those who are inheriting the estate will greatly appreciate that their loved ones took the time to attend to estate planning tasks.