Estate planning: providing for future generations

Many people want to provide for their loved ones after they die. Financial planners suggest devising estate planning strategies that will allow people to control how their assets will be distributed after they pass away, and Florida residents may wish to take notice of some tips.

It is important for people to keep their wealth transfer goals in line with their wishes. While reducing tax liability might be important, many planners agree that it should not necessarily be the deciding factor for those who wish to set up wills, trusts and other estate plans. For example, using a charitable trust may help avoid estate taxes, but it also likely means the loss of control over how the transferred assets will be used. Those planning for the asset distribution process might benefit from understanding their wishes first, followed by enlisting the aid of professionals to help carry them out in a tax efficient manner.

The estate planning process need not be complicated, and many people could choose to protect their assets from creditors as well as reduce tax liability by using life insurance and tax-shelter trusts. Some professional advisers believe that too many people try to over-complicate their estate planning strategies unnecessarily, especially when simpler approaches could serve equally as well. This is not to say that more complicated strategies might be advantageous, depending upon individual situations.

It is never too late for people to plan for what happens to their assets after they die. Estate planning may be confusing to some, and circumstances may change. Many choose to look toward estate planning attorneys who could help them with the implementation of strategies after a discussion of their goals and desires.

Source: Forbes, "What is estate planning?", Russ Alan Prince, November 04, 2013

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