If you were to ask 10 different couples what their estate planning goals are, you'll probably get 10 different answers. However, after a deeper survey, you'll find that most married couples share the same basic estate planning goals. Knowing these goals helps both the couple and their estate planner determine what might be the best way to structure their estate plan. Below are eight of the most common estate planning goals that influence a couple's estate plan. The primary goal of estate planning for married couples is to ensure that their loved ones receive sustenance after their death.
This goal is usually achieved by creating a will or trust that outlines how assets should be distributed upon death. This goal also includes making sure that the surviving spouse is taken care of financially and emotionally. Another key goal of estate planning for married couples is to minimize taxes. By minimizing the amount their assets are reduced to pay taxes, married couples, in turn, maximize the amount of assets that go to loved ones. This goal helps to achieve the primary goal of ensuring that your loved ones receive sustenance after the couple's death. Many couples prefer estate plans that maintain their privacy when given the option.
However, this tends not to be a dominant problem with most couples. However, recently there has been a significant increase in the number of seniors being targeted by fraudulent schemes and fraudulent limit requests. As a result, to the extent that an estate plan can protect the privacy of a married couple, especially as they age, this can help protect the surviving spouse from being targeted by such plans. Donations reduce the financial size of the estate, as they are excluded from taxable wealth, reducing the wealth tax bill. Another strategy that a wealth planner can adopt to minimize estate tax liability after death is to donate to charitable organizations while you are alive. The executor must estimate the value of the estate using the value of the date of death or the alternative valuation date, as provided for in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).
When starting the estate planning process, it is extremely useful to think about what you would like to happen to those assets, both during the future stages of your life and after death. Finally, your client should have peace of mind knowing that almost all estate planning is flexible and can be updated at a later time if their goals, situation or laws change in the future. Without proper estate planning, state laws may dictate the parties responsible for making medical and financial decisions, as well as to whom they will pass assets and other assets in the event of death. Through thoughtful reflection and discussion, all your estate planning objectives should be discussed in “plain English”. Proper estate planning allows you to select the person or persons who will raise your minor children if both you and your spouse die prematurely. Rather than being an event or a single document, estate planning involves careful consideration and arrangement for the orderly transfer of assets at the time of death.
But one of the most important steps you can take before meeting with these professionals is to consider and set estate planning goals. Estate planning usually involves drafting a portfolio of legal documents aimed at achieving a variety of objectives. Estate planning involves determining how a person's assets will be preserved, managed and distributed after death. And in the long run, all your goals are more likely to be achieved and your wishes will be fulfilled. Assets that could constitute a person's estate include houses, cars, stocks, works of art, life insurance, pensions and debts.