After having worked with clients to develop wealth plans, there are some common basic objectives that are considered. This includes maintaining loved ones, mitigating or avoiding probate, minimizing taxes, ensuring orderly distribution and management of assets, protecting assets, and planning for disability. 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 objectives that influence the estate plan of a married couple. The first and foremost goal is to ensure that their loved ones are taken care of after they pass away. 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 prefer estate plans that maintain their privacy when given the option. However, this tends not to be a dominant problem in most couples. However, recently there has been a significant increase in the number of elderly people being targeted by fraudulent schemes and near-fraudulent 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. Another important goal is to ensure that assets are distributed in an orderly manner. This means that assets should be divided according to the wishes of the couple and not left up to chance or family disputes.
This can be done through a will or trust. A third goal is to protect assets from creditors and other claims. This can be done through various legal instruments such as trusts or LLCs. These instruments can help protect assets from creditors and other claims. A fourth goal is to provide for long-term care in case one or both spouses become disabled or incapacitated. This can be done through various legal instruments such as trusts or LLCs. A fifth goal is to provide for charitable giving.
Many couples prefer estate plans that allow them to give back to their community or favorite charities after they pass away. This can be done through various legal instruments such as trusts or LLCs. The sixth goal is to minimize court costs and fees associated with probate. Very few people who prepare an estate realize how much court costs, fees, taxes and expenses can reduce the value of their estate. One of the first things an estate planning attorney will consider is how to properly minimize the costs of these aspects of the probate process once your estate goes into effect. The seventh goal is to ensure that heirs and beneficiaries receive assets in a way that manages and minimizes estate taxes, gift taxes and other tax impacts.
They can help you determine if you're on the right path of estate planning, especially if you live in a state with its own estate or inheritance taxes. The eighth goal is to leave a legacy behind. If you want your assets and loved ones to be protected when you can't do it anymore, you'll need an estate plan. Deciding whether to divide your estate exactly equally is one of the key tasks you should consider. If you die without a will, which is a vital part of an estate plan, the courts will decide who gets your assets. If estate planning was ever considered something only high-net-worth people needed, that has changed. A good starting point, even before taking an inventory of your assets, is to determine what you want your assets to achieve when you die.