Estate planning is an important process for married couples to ensure that their assets are managed and distributed according to their wishes. It is essential to understand the three primary goals of estate planning in order to create an effective plan. These goals are to provide for loved ones, minimize taxes, and protect privacy. The primary goal of estate planning is to provide for loved ones.
This means ensuring that your assets are distributed in a way that will provide for the financial security of your family after you are gone. This includes providing for your spouse, children, and other family members. It also includes providing for any charitable causes or organizations that you wish to support. Another key estate planning goal 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 their loved ones. This goal helps achieve the primary goal of ensuring that your loved ones receive sustenance after the couple's death. Many couples also prefer estate plans that maintain their privacy when given the option. This tends not to be a dominant problem in most couples, but recently there has been a significant increase in the number of elderly people being targeted by fraudulent schemes and near-fraudulent requests.
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. Estate planning is an ongoing process and should be started as soon as a person has a measurable asset base. It is important to understand the three primary goals of estate planning in order to create an effective plan. An experienced trust and probate lawyer should be the only person who prepares the living trust and other estate planning documents.