People with less than $2 million dollars worth of assets can do their own planning. Contingent upon the complexity of one’s estate, number of heirs, varied assets, certain planning calls for an expert. But, for regular folks leaving money to their heirs, there are other ways to do your own estate planning, offset probate expenses and maximize inheritance:
1. First, visit your state’s website like www.atlantaestatelawcenter.com/ to determine how much the estate tax exemption is set in your state.
2. Review life insurance and retirement policies. Generally, these accounts can be transferred directly onto beneficiaries.
3. The same theory applies to taxable accounts such as savings, mutual funds, and other investment income account. As long as the benefactor entitles the accounts as “transfer on death” “pay on death” to heirs, proceeds should be directly passed on. However, more intricately individualized financial situations may require to differ.
Estate Planning Tip: Large to mega-sized estates necessitate the professional guidance of a lawyer or certified estate planner.
1. For items #2 and 3 (above), title assets to simplify the financial transfer of your death.
2. Open a living trust to stockpile assets.
3. In cases where real estate is owned in another state or country, an attorney with expertise in international law and real estate planning may be necessary.
4. There’s no need to wait until death. Sharing the wealth now can save heirs taxation in the long term.