You have worked hard for your wealth, and it’s essential that you have a plan for how to leave your assets to your loved ones so that the state does not decide for you. But, how can you make sure that the plan will be executed according to your wishes after your death?
While an attorney will make sure that your will or trust documents are accurate and complete, you can use the following tips to make sure that your wishes will be followed:
- Make sure you have a will or trust. Consult with an attorney to decide whether one or both of those instruments is right for you. Without one, the state will decide who gets your assets after your death.
- Avoid do-it-yourself wills and trusts. While they may be cheaper, they are cookie cutter documents that may make it easier for someone to challenge.
- Make sure your beneficiary designations are correct and up-to-date on life insurance policies, retirement plans, and bank accounts. And make sure your retirement plan has a named beneficiary. If you have not named a beneficiary in the plan, the retirement account will go to your estate, which could result in unplanned tax consequences and less money going to your heirs.
- Place a large inheritance meant for minors in a trust that will be distributed after the minor graduates from college or reaches a certain age, when the heir will be mature enough to handle the money.
- Plan for tax issues. Check with a CPA or estate planning attorney to stay up to date with the current tax laws.
- Don’t trust people to do what you intended. Make sure your wishes are spelled out in clear terms.
The best course of action is to work with an estate planning attorney to make sure that your wishes are carried out. If you worry that your estate may be subject to dispute, the attorneys at Gaslowitz Frankel can consult with you to ensure that you are setting yourself up for the cleanest possible transfer of assets. Call our office at 404-892-9797 today.