Having an estate plan is somewhat of an achievement, as it’s something many people neglect to do. It’s very important for people of all income brackets to have one to ensure the management of their assets after their passing. However, too many people fail to realize the truth about certain aspects of this process.
If you’re considering creating an estate plan, you may think there are certain constants that you can follow to make everything simpler. But every situation is different and what works for one Maryland resident won’t for another. Here are some considerations you need to make during estate planning.
What are your goals?
Some people want to leave all their assets to their families. Other people, whether they have kids or not, may prefer to donate everything to charity. No matter what those goals may be, they should be the first priority in an estate plan. Everything else can be oriented to serve those goals.
This is especially helpful for those who try to minimize their tax burden and find themselves caught up on that point. While reducing taxes is reasonable, it should not always be the primary goal of an estate plan. However, it could help you decide if you want to establish a trust for some or all of your assets. Trusts are complicated, and they aren’t the right choice for everyone. Still, they could prove beneficial when it comes to addressing tax concerns.
What to do for your kids?
Some people assume they should leave all their assets to their children and in equal amounts. Yet, that isn’t always the fairest choice for everyone involved. It is perfectly fine to consider your children as individuals when planning to allocate assets. Furthermore, dividing assets equally may actually be less fair to one child in particular. For example, a parent leaves equal shares of a business to all children, but only one of them ever contributed to it and plans to keep it.
The bottom line is that an estate owner must take full responsibility for estate planning and what goes along with it. Even with professional help, the owner needs to guide the entire process. For those who are unsure of how to do that, an estate planning attorney is a great person to help you begin.