STEP #1 - Who should inherit your assets?
The first step in estate planning is personal. You must decide who should inherit your assets. Here are some of the questions you need to consider.
Do you need to worry about estate taxes? The answer
depends on how much your estate is worth. Write down how much you think
your estate is worth. If you are married, include both your assets and
your spouse's assets. Be sure to include all your assets. Don't forget
to include your personal residence, automobiles, loans to family
members, and all retirement benefits. And be sure to include all life
insurance policies you own. If you own that policy when you die, the
proceeds usually are included in your estate. If your estate is large
enough, over one-third of those insurance proceeds may go to the
federal government as taxes, not to your chosen beneficiaries. If your
estate exceeds $5,000,000 in 2011 or 2012, your estate may be subject to federal
Once you've completed Steps #1 and #2, it's time to consider the documents you need to carry out your estate plan in a way that minimizes state inheritance tax and federal estate taxes, and maximizes the amount passing to your heirs. Here are some important documents that can help you achieve your estate planning objectives.
Creating an estate plan requires careful consideration of the many options available. There is no "one size fits all" solution. What works well for your neighbor may be unsuitable for you. You need to understand how various strategies affect your control, risk, and tax liability. You have been given some things to think about as you create your estate plan. But that's only the beginning. Now you need to take action.
Attorney Kline would be happy to meet with you to
discuss your particular situation. He can help you develop and implement
an estate plan that attains your goals and preserves for your heirs
what it took a lifetime for you to accumulate.
2011 copyright by Karl Kline P.C.