Articles

The Importance of Estate Planning Regardless of Net Worth (2016 edition)

With a 2016 federal estate tax exemption of $5,450,000 for individuals and $10,900,000 for married couples, it is easy to see why many who are under the exclusion amount might feel that they are not impacted by estate planning. While estate tax avoidance is a very important aspect of planning, there are many other areas that need to be considered beyond just taxes. Estate planning deals with the transfer of your assets post-mortem. Beyond the tax implications of these transfers, how these assets are controlled and where they ultimately transfer to should be considered regardless of net worth. In addition, decisions pertaining to the care of minor children or what shall happen if you become incapacitated should be considered during the estate planning process. These are all important decisions to be made regardless of one’s net worth.

Common Estate Planning Mistakes — and How to Avoid Them

Estate planning can be a minefield of potential missteps, some of which could have far-reaching consequences. Many of the poor choices individuals make when planning for their own future or passing assets to their families are caused by "one-size-fits-all" planning strategies or well-intended advice from family or friends. Following are some common and potentially costly mistakes along with suggestions for avoiding them.

The Importance of Estate Planning Regardless of Net Worth

With a 2015 federal estate tax exemption of $5,430,000 for individuals and $10,860,000 for married couples, it is easy to see why many who are under the exclusion amount might feel that they are not impacted by estate planning. While estate tax avoidance is a very important aspect of planning, there are many other areas that need to be considered beyond just taxes. Estate planning deals with the transfer of your assets post-mortem. Beyond the tax implications of these transfers, how these assets are controlled and where they ultimately transfer to should be considered regardless of net worth. In addition, decisions pertaining to the care of minor children or what shall happen if you become incapacitated should be considered during the estate planning process. These are all important decisions to be made regardless of one’s net worth.

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