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Choosing The Right Estate Plan

Sep 4, 2007
Are you sure, you have selected the right estate plan? Estate tax is one of the most valuable resources of federal revenue. It also encourages millions of dollars as donations. Estate planning is very vital and there are several reasons that make it important. Generally Americans avoid making a will and don't think about making any comprehensive plan to avoid estate taxes or avoid any probate.

Depending on your age, wealth, health and instinctive level of caution, you may not need much of estate planning. If you wish to, you may need to decide on appointing a lawyer to assist you in making a will or trust. If your estate is not as dripping as Picasso or if you don't possess a fat investment then you may not need a lawyer as it is easy and safe to chart out a basic estate planning. You can handle estate planning with some simple self-help techniques like-

You are 25 and yet single

If this is the case then why are you reading estate planning? You should be partying and dancing with your date. But if you are still interested then at your age, don't trouble yourself with estate planning. If your lifestyle is too perilous or you suffer from some serious illness, then you have ample of time to think of it.

If you are very rich then pass on the assets to your boyfriend, nephew or for a favorite cause and if you don't write a will, then after your death the property goes to your parents. So think about it.

Are you a couple but not married?

If you have linked yourself, but not married then you need to have a will. Without a will the state law will dictate their terms over your property and unmarried partners get nothing, except in few places like California, Maine, Hawaii and Vermont where surviving partners inherit everything. So if you love your partner and don't wish to leave him or her without anything, prepare a joint tenancy with the right of survivorship. This will entitle the person to own 100% of your property.

Do you have young children?

Write a simple will, just a document that entitles your children to your property and the name of a guardian for your children if they are below 18. The guardian takes over the control on your property if both or either of the parents is not accessible. If you fail to mention a guardian's name then the court suggests the name of one of your parents. So if you don't specify the same in your will, your spouse may be left with nothing and everything will go directly to your children. Children are not permitted to invest or spend anything without court order.

Mutual fund investment

If you have led a comfortable life and saved some material wealth, then you need to invest well. If you wish to save your family from legal hassles, then try and make a revocable living trust so that your heirs get everything directly without any circuitous detour or going through the court.
About the Author
Sacramento CPA Firm Murray and Young offer Tax Representation by a former IRS auditor. For useful articles and tips by Sacramento Estate Tax Planners, please visit our website at http://www.april15.com.
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