You have two choices regarding how your assets will be distributed to you heirs in the event of your death. First, the can be distributed according to the express wishes contained in the estate plan you drew up with the help of an estate planning law firm; or second, they can be distributed according to the laws of inheritance established by your state legislature because you o never found the time to make a will. As amazing as it sounds, two out of every three Americans end up picking Door Number Two.
If you have an estate to leave to future generations and you reach your retirement years, it is only natural that your family will be curious as to who gets what. If you don't even understand yourself, it's time you started thinking about planning your estate. Get out a pen a paper to organize your thoughts and figure out all of the assets you have including property, investments, annuities, and other items like jewelry, cars and antiques. Once your thoughts are organized, call to make an appointment with an estate planning law firm. They will come up with a plan to distribute and manage your assets while reducing taxes and probate fees.
If you have a large estate to distribute, don't rely on your family lawyer or accountant to execute your final wishes and settle your affairs. When you are ready start making your final arrangements, you need to talk to an estate law planning firm. One of the things they will talk you about is the expensive and unexpected costs that will come up upon your passing. They will also help you plan so that these costs can be paid quickly, so they don't hold up the distribution of assets to your heirs. There is a lot to learn about passing on a large estate to the rightful heirs, so talking to someone with this expertise is invaluable.
Any one you owe money to at the time of your death has to be paid before any of the family can have anything. This is why it is important to have liquid assets available in order to clear up any bills that are outstanding, so that the family can start getting paid. An estate planning law firm can set this up for you.
There are many ways to make your estate look meager and non-taxable to the court in order to keep your estate intact and pass the bulk of it on to your family. The idea is to separate your estate from your assets and keep them out of the probate process. For this you will need help. An estate planning law firm can develop gifting strategies and living trusts that can be arranged to be available at a specified later date.
Finally, estate planning law firms can give you guidance in deciding on your final health care directive, or living will. A living will is designed to let your caregivers know what sort of health measures you want or do not want during your final illness, should you become incapacitated. And a power of attorney for will let you choose the person to be in charge of your health care if you are unable to express your wishes. Read more about estate planning at http://www.estatecontractstrusts.com
It's a simple reality that having a layman's understanding of inheritance laws is simply not and adequate foundation for ensuring that your final wishes regarding your estate will be honored. You need the professional advice available from estate planning law firms, with their knowledge both of the law and of financial planning.
Making sure that their final affairs are in order is the best way for most people to enjoy retirement, their family and their life. Talking to an estate planning law firm is the first step to stop worrying and start relaxing.