Three Golden Rules of Estate Planning
When making your estate planning checklist, there are three “golden rules” you should follow. These estate planning rules will help you ensure you’re getting the most out of your hard work, and preserving your estate for years to come.
Rule #1: Be Clear and Intentional
The most difficult part of sorting out a last will and testament is trying to sift through ambiguous wishes of the guarantor. Being clear and intentional about what you would like to happen with your assets is the most important thing you can do when planning your estate.
An attorney will be able to look at your estate planning checklist and know how to structure your estate plan so that it can only be interpreted the way you intend it to be interpreted. Appointing an executor of your estate is a good way to limit confusion. An executor will work closely with you to understand exactly what you’d like to have happen after you pass on.
Rule #2: Never Overpay Estate Taxes
Many estate planning checklists forget this one very important item—reduce your tax liability as much as possible. There are a few ways an experienced estate planning attorney will be able to help you accomplish this.
Trusts are a great way to reduce the tax liability of your assets. You can name the beneficiary as the trustee, and since the assets don’t pass directly to them, they’re not taxed. There are many different types of trusts and each one serves a different purpose. An estate planning attorney will be able to help you determine which ones fit your situation the best.
Rule #3: Remember Who You’re Doing This For
One of the most important things to remember when planning your estate is that you’re ultimately doing this for your family. You worked hard your whole life to give them a brighter future, and having an estate plan that provides safety and security is the ultimate goal.
Take your time when deciding who should be a beneficiary, and what they’re entitled to. An estate plan that removes any animosity between heirs over inheritance is paramount. At the end of it all, you want this process to bring loved ones together, not drive them apart.
Let Us Review Your Estate Planning Checklist
Phelps LaClair has been serving the hardworking people of Chandler, Arizona for over 40 years. We’ve learned a great deal about how to get the most out of an estate plan. Our qualified estate planning attorneys can help you create an estate plan that serves you and your family. We’ll work hard to reduce tax, liability, provide a durable power of attorney, and help you keep your plan up to date. Contact us today to see how Phelps LaClair can help you preserve your legacy.