Estate planning is something everyone should do no matter how reluctant one is to think of one’s own mortality. It can be difficult to think about what family will do after one is gone, and knowing that some relatives may not like the division of property can cause more anxiety. However, doing the basics now can relieve guilt and save the family a great deal of hassles.
Write a Will
It might seem complicated, but creating a last will is easy, especially with the help of a lawyer. Write down who should get what, sign the will in front of a few witnesses and that’s it. The will does not have to be filed in court, just put somewhere safe.
Much valuable property, such as life insurance policies, retirement accounts, vehicles and real estate, may not pass through a will. Be sure it’s clear who will inherit each piece of property, to avoid conflicts later.
Think About Retirement Plans
If the will writer is married, his or her spouse is automatically entitled to inherit the funds in a 401(k) plan. However, the spouse can relinquish it in writing if they choose to do so.
It’s up to the Will Writer
When writing a will, one is not obligated to leave anything to their children. However, it’s a good idea to list them by name in the will, so it’s clear that no one is overlooked.
Inheritances Aren’t Taxable
Despite popular belief, recipients of an inheritance do not pay income taxes on those funds. However, money held in a tax-deferred retirement plan is taxable; see an estate planning lawyer in Sacramento, for more details.
Be Very Specific
One can save their family a great deal of inconveniences if they specify where sentimental items will go after their passing. Sometimes, the most acrimonious fights are over possessions that have little to no monetary value.
Remember the Obvious
During the intricate process of writing a will, it’s easy to overlook obvious factors. No amount of estate planning does any good if the family can’t find the documents after the writer has passed away. Clients should visit this website to find out how an estate planning lawyer in Sacramento, such as Law Offices of Mitchell S. Ostwald, can help the writer keep the documents in a safe place until they are needed.