If you and your spouse are child-free, you may think you don’t need to think about comprehensive estate planning—but you’d be wrong. You’ll still want to ensure your assets go where you’d like them to after you’re gone, rather than being divvied up by the state.
Estate planning is a critical part of financial planning, but something many Americans procrastinate about. Drafting a will and a health care proxy or power of attorney, maybe creating a trust, and maximizing your loved ones’ inheritances by minimizing taxes are all important matters you don’t want to leave to chance.
When transferring wealth to the next generation, many families prefer to make gifts to younger family members in trust, rather than gifting the assets outright. Gifting assets to a trust has many advantages, including asset protection, tax planning and maintaining family control until the beneficiary reaches adulthood.
If you think Estate Planning is simply the creation of a will or trust, you are missing a large portion of information, and could potentially have assets that do not flow according to the plan you have set up in your will or trust.
Let’s face it: mortality is hard to think about and death is impossible to plan for. What is doable, however, is getting affairs and assets in order to prevent loved ones from inheriting a headache and legal fees in the event of an incident.
The wife did not have a durable power of attorney authorizing her spouse to act as her agent in selling the property and now apparently lacked the capacity to sign one.
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