The 10 Most Essential Estate Planning Tips

A testamentary will or estate document, establishes written directives for executor or trustee administration of estate or trust assets on behalf of beneficiaries. Without formation of a will, estate, or trust, assets are distributed pursuant of federal and state laws of intestacy. Depending on the jurisdiction of a decedent’s residence and the location of beneficiaries, rule differentiation may apply. The creation of directives as part of the estate planning process affords specificity of instructions for asset distribution after an owner dies. Review the ten most essential estate planning tips for defining estate, trust, and will directives.

The ’10’ Most Essential Estate Planning Tips

  1. Financial Control

Accountancy and financial control are constructive priorities to be considered during the planning process. Issues of taxation are part of the scope of fiscal responsibility and reporting accountability. Control, the exercise of financial management, determines how assets will be invested, transferred, and distributed during an estate owner’s life, and after death.

  1. Non-disclosure

When a person dies, it is usually difficult to maintain discretion about personal or business issues during probate proceedings. Non-disclosure directives protect the privacy of information related assets and transactions that might otherwise be availed to the public. An estate plan can also be drafted with separate beneficiary notices of asset distribution. Planned giving designation of nonprofit charitable giving intentions may also be subject to nondisclosure.

  1. Incapacitated Parties

Definition of health care proxy and durable power of attorney as part of the advance health care directives of living will, provides written record of an estate owner’s wishes where medical informed consent for treatment and end-of-life provisions are concerned.

  1. Business Succession

Estate planning of business succession permits a family business to continue uninterrupted after an owner’s death. Share transfers can be included within estate trust transfer to heirs.

  1. Creditor Attachment

Establishing a “self-settled asset protection trust” protects assets from future creditor attachment when the estate comes into effect. Debt collection attached to an estate’s finance and other assets can impact heirs. If planning an estate,  ERISA-qualified pension fund asset transfers to an estate protect an owner and beneficiaries from risk of seizure. Without the protection of an estate or trust, liquidation of inherited assets to pay-off creditors may proceed.

  1. Relatives

Laws intestacy applied in most states, automatically assigns assets to surviving spouses and children, also specify the rights of other relatives. Stepchildren are generally excluded from rules of intestate succession. Remarried divorcees and widows can account for second family beneficiaries as part of the estate planning process.

  1. Pets

In the U.S., an estate owner can specify provisions for the care of pets within the directives of a testamentary document.

  1. Supplemental Needs

The creation of a “supplemental needs trust” for a beneficiary who is already a recipient of public assistance due to disability or aging, establishes rights and protections for that person who might otherwise not be eligible for receipt of Medicaid or other public benefits after an estate owner dies.

  1. Substance Abuse/Spendthrift

The estate planning process eliminates risks posed by substance abuse or gambling addiction. It also protects valuable assets and beneficiaries. Estate, trust, or Will directives can also protect beneficiaries from a spendthrift who may frustrate distribution of assets to heirs with arbitrary constraints, or personal ideas about estate finance not provided for by the decedent.

  1. Trustee Appointment

Appointment of a trustee is performed by an estate owner or trust advisor, responsible for adherence to governing laws and allocating powers of an estate or trust. beneficiaries’ interest in the trust. Election of a trustee can be done at the planning phase to ensure the interests of the owner are protected for the duration of the estate.

Vital record for anyone seeking a risk-free future for they family, estate directives provide for a surviving spouse, children, and other named beneficiaries according to a decedent’s wishes.

Planned Giving Wiki Logo

Planned Giving Wiki

This is the definitive resource for professional gift planners. It covers all of the relevant information you’ll ever need as far as technical details go.