Estate planning is more than tax avoidance.
It is no secret.
The Trump administration would like to do away with the federal estate tax.
If they succeed, you no longer need an estate plan, right?
According to a recent The Motley Fool article titled “3 Reasons You'll Still Need Estate Planning Even if the Death Tax Disappears,” this estate tax repeal would impact a minority of Americans.
Without a legally recognized will or trust, your assets may not pass to your desired beneficiaries.
Instead, they may be divided according to the laws of your state.
If you have been married more than once or have minor children, an estate plan is even more crucial.
Avoiding inheritance taxes and state estate tax.
Not all states have an estate tax.
But fourteen states—plus the District of Columbia—do.
Some states also levy an inheritance tax.
Although this tax would ultimately affect your heirs, you can help alleviate this burden through proper planning.
Fortunately, Kansas and Missouri have neither form of tax.
Planning for other federal taxes.
The new law could make capital gains taxes more of an issue for estate planning.
This would affect your heirs when it comes to paying taxes on your assets.
Preparing for incapacity.
You may become incapacitated before you die.
Who will make decisions for you should this happen?
Having a General Durable Power of Attorney and an Advance Health Care Directive will help ensure that your financial and medical wishes are not neglected.
As you can see, estate planning is essential to anyone.
Do not put it off.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney, to create a plan to meet your specific needs and goals.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: The Motley Fool (October 21, 2017) “3 Reasons You'll Still Need Estate Planning Even if the Death Tax Disappears”