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There Is More to Estate Planning Than Planning a Will


Estate planning can seem like an exercise in planning a will. In fact, this is a misconception. There are different ways to facilitate asset transfers, and planning a will is not always going to be the best course of action. Plus, there are end-of-life issues to address when you are devising your estate plan. As a result, a last will is not the only document you need, even if you do use a will as your asset transfer vehicle. Let s look at the facts. Planning a Will If you use a last will to state your final wishes, you nominate an executor. This is the person who will administer the estate after you pass away. The executor would be required to admit the will to probate, and the court would supervise the administration of the estate. This is not inherently negative, but there are some pitfalls that go along with the probate process. For one, it is time-consuming. In most areas, a case that is not complicated in any way will be stalled in probate for close to a year. The inheritors rece
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Why Would I Use a Trust Instead of a Will?

Everyone is aware of the fact that a will can be used as a way to state your final wishes when you are planning your estate. However, under certain circumstances, a trust of some kind can be a better choice. We will look at some of these scenarios in this blog post. Estate Tax Exposure If you maintain personal possession of your assets and arrange transfers through the creation of a last will, these resources would be part of your taxable estate. Yes, there are taxes on large asset transfers that can come into play after you pass away. We have a federal estate tax to contend with in all 50 states, and this tax carries a hefty 40 percent maximum rate. The exclusion is $5.43 million during the current calendar year. Anything that you are transferring that exceeds the amount of this exclusion is potentially subject to the federal death tax. There is a caveat to the above with regard to asset transfers between spouses. There is an unlimited marital deduction that allows for unlimited asse
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