Many people find out that family members have made mistakes when it is too late to do anything about it. With this in mind we would like to pass along our top three estate planning suggestions.
1.) Avoid do-it-yourself estate planning notions.
If you go online looking for fill-in-the-blanks legal forms you can certainly find them. The problem is, you may not be executing the legal device that is best for you given your unique personal situation.
And, you won’t be around to see the outcome. As a layperson it is unlikely that you would recognize any flaws in the document. It can be deemed inadmissible by the probate court if it is improperly constructed.
2.) Update your plan as life events take place.
Once you get an initial estate plan in place it is probably going to need updates as events in your life take place. These would include changes in marital status, additions and subtractions to the family, and significant changes in financial status.
3.) Be aware of current estate tax parameters.
Whether or not you are exposed to the estate tax will depend upon the extent of your assets as compared to the estate tax exclusion that is in place at any given time.
At the present time the estate tax exclusion is $5.25 million and the maximum rate of the tax is 40%. Though there is no particular expiration date on these figures legislative changes are always possible. As a result you should certainly keep in touch with your estate planning attorney who will always be abreast of the current state of affairs.