Aretha Franklin died without any kind of estate planning. Her estate was worth an estimated 80 million. But, since she had no advanced estate planning, after applying the federal estate tax exemption the estate will only be worth $68,800,000 and that is subject to 40% federal tax.
Now that valuation doesn’t include attorney’s fees, court costs and other costs associated with settling the estate. But what is known is that it will be worth a fraction of the 80 million.
So, you don’t have 80 million, but what you have worked for you want to pass along to your heirs without the government taking a huge cut, right? That’s where estate planning comes in.
What if you have debt? Creditors can go after that debt and the heirs who you bequeathed your money if the debt hasn’t been dealt with.
How to avoid such hassles? Here’s a list of what you should include in your estate plan to lessen the possible hassles.
- Assign healthcare power of attorney
- Create a will
- Review your beneficiaries for life insurance, investments etc.
- Set up a trust(s)
Reviewing your beneficiaries is important especially if you assigned them years before. As an example, if you remarried you still might have your ex-spouse as a beneficiary and now you want your current spouse to be the beneficiary.
What happens if you get hospitalized and can’t make decision about your health and money? A healthcare proxy or healthcare power of attorney can make sure your wishes are carried out.
Suppose you have a sizable estate, maybe not millions but a nice chunk. How do you keep the government frtom getting their hands on it? You can set up a trust. A trust is managed by a trustee for a beneficiary or beneficiaries you choose. You toss the assets right into the trust and it bypasses probate court and the expenses associated with it.
These are just a few ways to shield your estate from the grabbing government hands. The Law Offices of Jeffrey Weinstein can help you manage your estate. Please call us at 347-305-8752 for a free consultation.