Once you become a self-supporting, responsible adult in your own right, you have a certain set of basic responsibilities. At that point, there may well be people relying upon you, and if you are like most people, you will take these commitments to heart.
This line of thinking should be extended to the subject of estate planning. Curiously, far too many American adults are totally unprepared for a future event that is definitely going to take place
When you put an estate plan in place, you are taking steps to make sure that the people that you love are appropriately provided for, and this is an extremely important act. There is no room for procrastination, even if you are relatively young, because people of all ages pass away every day.
If you don’t know where to begin, set up a consultation with a licensed estate planning attorney. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, and your attorney will provide you with guidance.
In this post, we will look at three commonly asked estate planning questions, and we will provide brief answers. When you consult with your attorney, you can get more complete answers to these and other questions.
Is my estate going to be subject to taxation?
There is a federal estate tax that everyone in all 50 states must contend with, but there is a credit or exclusion. This is the amount that you can pass on before the estate tax would kick in. For the rest of 2015, the exclusion is $5.43 million.
We practice law in Connecticut, and in our state, there is a state-level estate tax that carries an exclusion of $2 million.
Is a last will the best choice for me since I’m not a multimillionaire?
A will can be acceptable under certain circumstances, but you may want to explore other options if you want your loved ones to receive their inheritances shortly after you pass away. If a will is used to direct the distribution of your personally held property, it would be admitted to probate after you are gone.
This process will take close to a year to run its course if all goes well, and the heirs receive nothing during this interim
You could use a revocable living trust as an alternative, and if you go this route, assets could be distributed to the heirs in a more timely manner outside of probate.
A living trust is one alternative to a last will, but there are others. You would do well to explore all of your options with the benefit of legal counsel so that you can make fully informed decisions.
Is there anything I should know that is often overlooked?
Incapacity planning is a facet that is often overlooked. Unfortunately, many elders become unable to communicate sound decisions late in their lives, with Alzheimer’s disease being a leading culprit.
You could name people to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation when you are planning your estate.
Contact Our Firm
If you are ready to take action, our firm can help. We offer no obligation consultations, and you can send us a message through this page to set up an appointment: Hartford CT Estate Planning Attorneys.