With an estate plan, you can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of financially after your death. You can give your family peace of mind by minimizing the lengthy probate process and documenting what you want if you become mentally or physically disabled. Your estate plan can also help ensure your business’ survival, minimize taxation on your estate and minimize taxation on your retirement plans.
The Richland Source notes in a recent article, titled “Do you need an estate plan?”, that it’s time to create an up-to-date estate plan when you have one of these life events:
- Marriage, divorce, or you re-marry;
- You adopt or have a child;
- There’s substantial change in the value of your assets;
- You and your family move to another state;
- You want to change the executor or administrator of your will;
- An heir dies;
- An appointed guardian is no longer able to assume his responsibilities;
- New estate planning or tax laws become effective;
- You’d like to make a bequest in your will to a charity or organization;
- You have more than $1 million in assets; or
- You have a business you’d like to protect.
The only thing I could fault in this article is its emphasis on Wills and Durable Powers of Attorney which I counsel my clients 'simply' don't work. Wills mandate probate which is an onerous administrative process in our state and financial Powers of Attorney go stale, are not always except by institutions when you need them or often limited the very power you need your Attorney-in-Fact to have when the time comes for them to act. The article goes on to mentions the other things that might be needed to boost the effectiveness of a Will such as a plan for minors (such as trusts and guardianship designations), life insurance, other trusts, and plans for charitable giving all of which you can create in just one document known as the Revocable Living Trust.
You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning. However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project. Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707.
Reference: Richland Source (Mansfield, OH) (May 20, 2015) “Do you need an estate plan?”