We have now entered 2016, and people often take care of things that they have been procrastinating about when they experience a sense of renewal as the calendar turns over. This is a spirit that you may want to extend to the process of estate planning.
When you examine the statistics that are compiled regarding the estate planning preparedness of American adults, the results are somewhat mind-boggling when you consider the stakes that are involved. According to an article that is published on Forbes.com, 51 percent of American adults who are between the ages of 55 and 64 have never created last wills. Just 38 percent of people who are between 45 and 54 have drafted last wills.
All in all, 64 percent of American adults are going through life without last wills according to the article.
If you never plan your estate, you will die intestate. After your passing the probate court would step in, and the court would name a personal representative to act as the estate administrator. Final debts would be paid out of the assets that comprise the estate, and if there is anything left, it would be distributed using intestate succession laws.
When you look into the facts, you will see that it is very possible if not likely that your own true wishes would not be carried out if your assets were to be distributed under intestate succession laws. Ultimately, people that you would have left inheritances to if you created a will could be disinherited.
If you are going through life without an estate plan, you are doing your loved ones a disservice. There are many different ways to facilitate asset transfers, and the best choices will depend upon the circumstances.
The Connecticut state estate tax can be a factor for people who are in possession of resources that exceed $2 million in value, and there are also those who face federal estate tax exposure. This tax can be applied on transfers that exceed $5.45 million.
It is possible to implement tax efficiency strategies, but a great deal can be lost if you do nothing to reduce your estate tax exposure.
There are advanced techniques that can be implemented to provide for people with special needs without impacting government benefits. If you are concerned about the money management capabilities of a loved one, you could include spendthrift protections when you plan your estate.
Asset protection can be part of the plan if you are concerned about legal actions, and you can also protect assets from devastating nursing home costs if you plan your estate properly. Medicare does not pay for long-term care, and most seniors will need it eventually.
When you plan your estate, you engage in a final act of giving to the people that you love the most. This is an important and profound endeavor, and it should be taken seriously.
Our firm can help if you are ready to put the procrastination behind you in 2016. Send us a quick message through this page if you would like to set up a free consultation: Hartford CT Estate Planning Attorneys.