Once you have taken the crucial first step in scheduling your first meeting with your estate planning lawyer, it’s time to ask yourself some questions. Prepare for estate planning by examining your family and estate, and ask yourself a few questions about how you want them to be impacted by your plans. No matter how much personal wealth you have, estate planning is an essential tool that gives you the power to ensure your estate is handled according to your wishes after your death. The more you know your estate and your goals, the more you can ensure that your heirs are taken care of when you’re gone. Before you start estate planning, ask yourself the following three questions to guide your decisions.
What’s the Best Way to Pass Property to My Heirs?
It isn’t easy to find a definitive answer to this question, as many factors will play into each individual’s decisions for their estate plan. However, you can pass down property to your heirs through your estate plan in three significant ways. These methods include:
- Outright gifts. You may give away your assets; however, this can lead to gift taxes and deplete your estate too soon.
- Will or Trusts. You can pass your assets down through your Will, but probate may delay the transfer. If you want a more efficient transfer, you may use trusts instead.
- Joint Titles. Naming an heir as a joint property owner is possible, but unless the joint owner is a spouse, doing so may come with some disadvantages, including gift tax consequences.
Who Will Take Care of My Children If I Die Before They Reach Maturity?
If you have children under the age of 18, it is essential to consider who will take care of them if you should before they reach the age of majority. You should decide before estate planning who you want to raise your children so that you can set up the appropriate documents. If you do not determine this and state a guardian in your estate plan, it will be left up to a judge to decide who raises the children. The guardian is often a relative, but it may be someone your children don’t know, who lives far away, or who you simply don’t prefer as a guardian. To avoid these circumstances, making your own guardian choices clear is crucial.
When Do I Want Children to Receive Their Inheritance?
If you have children or other relatives (grandchildren, nieces, nephews) who are minors, you may consider whether you want them to receive an inheritance from your estate if they are under the age of 18 at the time of your death. Do you want a child to inherit the entire amount all at once when they reach age 18? Should you delay distributions until they reach age 21 or some other age?
You can set these guidelines in your estate to ensure that your beneficiaries receive their inheritance and receive it in a way that will benefit them. When you work with your estate planning attorney to devise your best estate plan, you can prepare a positive future for your family and heirs.
Estate Planning Made Easy With Millman Law Group
Millman Law Group, PLLC is rare because it’s one of the only law firms that offer life planning in South Florida. From life care planning to the preparation of detailed estate plans, Millman Law Group has committed to serving Floridian elderly communities in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Ocean Ridge, Hillsboro Beach, and many other areas since 2018. Our dedicated team also specializes in special needs Trusts and catering to any age demographic because we know for certain it’s never too early to start preparing you and your family for your future. For the latest news in estate planning and elder care law, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Pinterest. You can also contact us at 561-463-6480.