While discussing end-of-life plans is uncomfortable for most, the thought of beneficiaries wasting money and time squabbling over one’s assets is probably even more unpalatable. Intended heirs often have to deal with unexpected legal issues and, at times, can be faced with outside entities that suddenly seek to receive assets from an estate. Those in Georgia may be interested in establishing trusts and pursuing some other ways to maximize an inheritance while keeping their assets in the family.
Although making sure that a will is established and that beneficiaries are named for retirement accounts may seem obvious, there are times when these issues can drastically reduce an estate or significantly change the way it is distributed. If there is not a valid will, the court will appoint an administrator who determines how the estate is distributed. Additionally, if someone does not name a beneficiary for assets such as life insurance policies and retirement funds, these accounts will proceed to probate court, and a judge will determine how the assets are distributed.
Establishing trusts could be a good way to help bypass the probate process completely and save significant time and taxes. When someone puts money into a trust, it is viewed as belonging to the trust and is not subject to estate taxes. Money can even be distributed through the trust to a benefactor when the benefactor is alive.
There are many other ways that those in Georgia can set up their estates in order to best achieve their goals. Most speak with an attorney who is experienced in trusts and estate planning to discuss their needs and to develop an appropriate plan. By planning ahead, a person can ease the burden on his or her heirs and ensure that they receive the most from one’s estate when he or she passes.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, “5 Estate Planning Strategies to Keep Your Money in the Family”, Maryalene LaPonsie, Accessed on Aug. 31, 2016