End of Year is Best Time to Re-emphasize the Basics

9:36 am Uncategorized

Although many estates may be smaller after the economic downturn of the last few years, there’s now more room for flexibility — and if you play your cards right, more of your estate will end up going to your heirs rather than to the government.

So what does it mean to play your cards right?

Be specific about the distribution of your estate. Questions about your estate will inevitably lead to fights between family members. Being clear in your will or trust means fewer questions and fewer fights.

Build flexibility into your estate plan. A revocable trust as opposed to an irrevocable trust will give your executor more flexibility to manage assets when they need to be managed.

Reassess (and possibly re-title) how you hold your assets and plan to take advantage of the 2011 exemption ($5 million per person, $10 million for couples.)

Make gifts now, rather than after you’re gone. To give a child $1 million while you’re alive (if the exemption is gone), it would cost you $1,450,000. But if you wanted to will $1 million to an heir, you would have to give $1,820,000.

But the first thing you need to do is dust off your existing estate plan and take it to your California estate planning attorney for review.  It’s time to reassess, revise, and take control again.

Your California legal and financial planning experts are at your service; Contact us today.

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