Choosing a beneficiary for your will or estate may seem like a daunting process, but it does not have to be. To be clear, a beneficiary is an individual (or organization) who receives a piece of your estate when you die. It is possible to have multiple beneficiaries of a will or estate. You can also make the beneficiary whomever you wish: a beneficiary does not have to be a relative.
Many people believe that it is a smart idea to add their children on the deed to their home for inheritance purposes. Generally, the reasons for this are honest in nature. In the majority of cases, people want to help their heirs avoid probate or inheritance tax and think adding the child’s name to the deed is a form of asset protection. Sometimes they may also want to put their child’s name on a house deed to prevent the sale of the home to pay for assisted living expenses.
There are few things more destructive to family relationships than dealing with disputes after a loved one’s death. Dealing with potential high-value assets along with grief can be overwhelming and ruin a family. Additionally, intense strife over a will or trust may result in some or all of your intended beneficiaries attempting to abandon your estate plan.
There are many reasons to want to avoid probate: it becomes a matter of public record, it can cost your heirs a lot of money, and it can sometimes take years. For these reasons, many people take it upon themselves to try and avoid probate at all costs.
The most common choice you have when setting up an estate plan is the choice between a will and a living trust. A will is always a one-way ticket to probate unless your estate falls below a minimum threshold of value. In many states, the minimum threshold is about $50,000. In California, that threshold is $165,250.
Traditionally when we think about the administration of a decedent’s estate, we envision a process that focuses on the individual’s tangible personal property and belongings, financial assets, business interests, and real estate.
Making allocations for loved ones with special needs requires special care. Unlike other beneficiaries of your estate, your loved ones with special needs cannot inherit money directly. Doing so could put their Medicaid benefits at risk. If you wish to provide for an individual with special needs, it is vital you adhere to specific estate planning strategies.
If you are going through the estate planning process, you may find it confusing. There are several options available to you, so this is natural. Many people wonder whether they should have a will, or trust, or both.
If you are considering a deferred sales trust, it is vital that you understand the relationship between capital gains tax and the deferred sales trust. In many situations, a deferred sales trust is a great way to avoid losing a lot of money to capital gains tax, but to reap the benefits you must engage in careful estate planning.
When estate planning many people wish to use their assets to help fund their favorite charities, in addition to providing for their families and loved ones. Donating can make a lasting impact on charities and you and your family can also reap tax benefits. The most popular variety of charitable trust is a charitable remainder trust.