Estate planning is one of those tasks that we tend to put off. We don’t like to think about end of life issues. But keeping these matters organized can be a big help to your loved ones should you die before them.
Make a Will
One of the most obvious steps in estate planning is to prepare a last will and testament. It’s the primary way that your wishes are to be understand and your estate probated properly. Without a will, the potential expenses could be much higher, to say nothing of the legal battles if one of your heirs (or someone who expected to be an heir) has a dispute.
Anticipate Tax Consequences
Most estates do not have significant issues with taxes. But estate taxes will need to be reckoned with for individuals with net worth in the millions of dollars. Don’t forget that this also includes prior gifts made to family members. There are certain thresholds that you can gift with no tax obligations each year. This is a complex issue, so search tax accountant near me Long Island NY to find someone who can help with this.
Discuss End of Life and Funeral Plans
While not as central to the financial side of estate planning, another component of estate planning is to prepare for end of life and funeral plans. Discussing these decisions with family members can save some misery if you become incapacitated. A living will and advance care directive can help avoid unnecessary healthcare expenses and extended time spent on life support if you have no hope of recovery. This also spares your loved ones from having to make these decisions.
Funerals should be planned for in advance as well. Notify your family members of your preferences.
By planning ahead, you’ll be making things easier for your family members. You can avoid unnecessary expenses and problems during a difficult time.