Despite our universal mortality, we frequently do not think about death and appropriately plan for it. Having an estate plan can help your loved ones understand your wishes should you die or be left incapable of making your wishes known. You can set out how you would like to be treated if seriously ill, what kind of funeral you would like, and who you wish to have your assets and personal items after you are gone.
Estate plans become even more critical as you grow older
When you are 18, your prize possession might be your skateboard or your mixing decks. Taxing authorities will not care who you leave these to, as they are of relatively little financial value. However, once your wealth increases, the IRS and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue will take far greater interest in what happens to your property after your death.
As you near retirement age, you should ensure you can fund long-term healthcare. If you decide you have enough to support you for the rest of your live, there are various options available to you to minimize the tax impacts on your estate.
Do not forget to update your estate plan after major life events
Marriage or divorce and births or deaths can affect the assets you own and who you want to leave them to. Other times to update your estate plan include starting or closing a business, buying or selling a home, or a significant increase or loss of wealth.
Estate planning laws change
A well thought out estate plan helps minimize difficult decisions for your loved ones and minimize taxes paid on your assets at death. It allows you to pass assets on to your family efficiently and cost-effectively. The laws surrounding estate taxation change over time. If you have not updated your estate plan recently you could be missing out on opportunities.