Death is an inevitable part of the great adventure of life – but living a great life and creating a legacy comes into play after death just as it does during your life. Giving your family the best possible opportunity to live an entire and protected life after you pass away is one of the best gifts you can give them. Protect them against predators and plan the aftermath of your passing while you can make informed decisions. Grant yourself the peace of mind that your family will be taken care of – Kalicki Collier, Reno estate planning attorneys have put together the 101 on estate planning. You may have asked yourself the following questions :
- What exactly is estate planning?
- Why is it important?
- How can it help me create generational wealth?
Let’s look at the facts and what steps you can take today to put those plans into action. As industry-leading estate planners, Kalicki Collier has seen the need for the Reno area to mobilize and put purposeful effort into their estate planning.
The First Step – Be Informed
Estate planning relies heavily on each unique profile. You need to voice and determine exactly what needs you have – and how you want your family to be protected after your death. Identifying these areas and creating a comprehensive plan can take hours. Still, this vital step needs to be taken on with the seriousness it deserves – as laying out precisely what you need will enable your lawyer/estate planner to put all the legalities in place, without which nothing will be realized. Often there is more than one option to discover your set of goals, and having a reputable specialist is a key to ensuring that the best route is prepared and enforced. Choosing the right legal company to represent you and your estate is vital to keep your family out of court battles long after you are gone.
Be Asset Specific
Ensure all your assets are protected by being detailed, specific, and comprehensive. This includes physically valuable items such as houses, cars, jewelry, art, etc. Being specific allows you also to determine what you want to happen to these items after death – it gives you a clear inventory to work with.
Being item-specific does not solely refer to physical items, but being thorough with an inventory of your non-physical assets is equally important. Ensure you itemize accounts, investments, and policies. Include important information like policy numbers, and give instructions on where policy documents can be found.
This allows you to determine what will happen to address your debt. Lingering debt can destroy your estate if it is not awarded the same importance factor while you’re alive. Ensure instructions are clear and companies involved in the estate plan.
If you want to include charities or organizations in your estate, ensure these are recorded and the relevant information is listed. That will ensure your wishes are fully brought to life. After making these detailed reports and lists, ensure that more than one copy is available. One should be entrusted to a specific person.
It is imperative to leave specified beneficiaries to ensure the battle does not end in court – and assets aren’t distributed in a way that was against your wishes. Consider transfer-on-death; this allows your assets to go to the designated person without going through the process of probate. It is important to ensure which of your assets can be transferred, as this does not apply to all assets. This is another area that needs expert input from professionals. Ensure you have a reputable team on your side. Planning and detailing thoroughly will ease the transition after death – without your loved ones left in legal battles or tensions that may last years.
Appoint an Executor
An executor is a person/ who will administrate the estate after your death. This person will play a pivotal role in the execution of your wishes. The executor will follow the strict instructions in the will to distribute assets, pay debts, and settle accounts. Here are some duties an executor will fulfill:
- They will find and file the will. They need to have instruction before death to ensure that this is done timeously.
- Arranging and paying for funeral expenses is also one of the common duties of an
- An executor will notify all stakeholders of the estate holder’s death. This may include banks, companies, etc.
- An executor may also need to maintain any assets until they are distributed, sold, or handled according to the estate.
- The executor is also responsible for paying any debts, accounts, etc, as stated in the estate.
The executor must therefore be willing and informed of the deceased’s wishes; they will be the state’s representative after death. The importance of choosing the correct person for this role cannot be stressed enough – take careful consideration and have a decent conversation first before taking a big step to add them as an executor. Take careful consideration in appointing a family member – the intricacies of the roles and responsibilities are better carried out by an experienced professional.
Keep Information Updated
Life changes do happen, and the most crucial factor is to ensure your policies and documents are kept up to date. Regularly revise and make the necessary adjustments to life changes, income changes, beneficiary changes, and general info like contact details, etc. Correct beneficiary details will ensure minimal interruptions after death – and minimal stress on the loved ones.
Estates can run up quite hefty fees – transferring assets, tax, etc., can have a significant influence on the inheritance intended for your loved ones. Anticipating these costs and having the correct procedures in place will help to cover these costs without the detrimental effects on the estate. A key factor to consider is to ensure there is liquid capital available for fees, this will ensure the executor is not forced to rope in other assets to cover the costs.
Protect the Inheritance of Minors
One of the big reasons people ensure their estates are in place is to ensure that their children are well taken care of and protected. This might include college funds, bank accounts, policies, and trust funds. It is important to ensure the children have a legally appointed guardian to manage their finances as many restrictions are in place till the age of 18.
It is important to structure and choose the managing trust fund – it will influence the well-being and future of your children. Proper research and advice of legal specialists are essential. Emphasize using an experienced and leading legal team to set up your estate documents. A trust fund usually has three crucial role players involved:
- The grantor – This person is responsible for setting up the fund.
- The beneficiaries – The elected person/people who will receive the funds.
- The trustee – A neutral third party that will manage the assets in the trust.
These three people will be intricately involved in the management of the fund. Planning their roles, responsibilities, and limitations and ensuring it is appropriately documented is essential.
Estate Planning Is Not Just For The Rich
Estate planning can be a daunting task – especially for young and healthy individuals, but estate planning is not purely for the ill or retired. One of the largest falsehoods surrounding estate planning is that it is only meant for the rich – which is untrue. Estate planning is of utmost importance to any person that wishes to protect their assets in a way that will serve their loved ones after death.
Many people procrastinate the task of estate planning – and this leads to big battles after the passing of a loved one. Scratching around in drawers, dialing up old investment companies, and sifting through documents leave family members flabbergasted and ill-informed. Whether you only own a car and house – or want to ensure your kids are taken care of, estate planning applies to any individual as it protects what is yours and ensures your family gets the maximum benefit.
Kalicki Collier are experienced estate planning attorneys in Reno, Nevada. We pride ourselves in taking the first steps with the client and their unique estate. We place the client at the heart of the process, listening to their long-term goals and supporting the goals with the correct legalities. Contact our industry-leading experts today to ensure your estate is thoroughly protected.