Estate Planning in Fort Wayne

Estate planning in Fort Wayne – and wherever else you may live, actually – can be fraught with difficulties. Try following these guidelines, and your planning ought to prove less of a chore.

Declare Who Gets What

If you haven’t seen fit to draw up a will, the laws that govern your domicile decide who assumes your assets. This also entails nonfinancial assets for which you most likely consider the disposition critical, such as that vintage auto you consider to be your pride and joy, or the piece of jewelry that your beloved niece has forever spoken about with something akin to reverence.

Be careful here, given that your will might not govern your assets for which beneficiary designations are among the terms of the governing agreements. This is also applicable to tax-deferred U.S. retirement accounts and life insurance policies. Get hold of the financial institution that holds the asset to understand the laws that pertain.

Choose How It Ought to Be Spent

If you plan to have part of your assets divvied up to take care of particular expenses, you may have to set up a trust that includes such provisions. For example, you might wish to earmark specific amounts to take care of college and special needs expenses for certain beneficiaries. The trustee of the trust would be legally bound to see that the set-aside amounts are put to use covering these expenses.

Minimize Estate and Income Taxes

If you foresee that your beneficiaries will owe estate and income tax on the amounts that they inherit, you may find it possible to reduce these taxes by using tax-efficient strategies. To be more specific, you could transfer taxable assets to charities if charities are named in your list of beneficiaries, and entrust your tax-free assets, such as Roth retirement accounts, life insurance and after-tax savings, to your other beneficiaries.

Furthermore, you can reduce your taxable estate by gifting amounts to your beneficiaries while you are alive, and the gift would be nontaxable if it is $14,000 or less  for each recipient.