Top Ten Reasons to Create an Estate Plan

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Paul Sundin, CPA

Do you have an estate plan?

We'll show you our favorite strategies

  1. Ensure that your estate will pass to the individuals you want, under the terms you want, with minimal expense.
  2. Protect your family from PROBATE. A Will does not exempt your estate from probate; a Living Trust is necessary.
  • Probate can easily cost more than $100,000 in administrator fees, attorney fees, and court fees.
  • Assets subject to probate can be tied up in court for a year or more.
  • Unless you plan otherwise, under California law, your children will receive their inheritance at age 18.
  • An estate is subject to probate if the assets exceed $100,000 or real estate is owned.
  1. Help with potential ESTATE TAXES.
  • Without a Living Trust, a married couple will essentially lose one of their exemptions.
  • For estates that are anticipated to exceed $2,000,000, additional estate tax planning may be necessary.
  • Many people do not realize that life insurance proceeds are subject to estate taxes. The ownership of new or existing policies can be changed to create tax exempt funds.
  1. Establish an age for your children to receive their inheritance.
  2. Provide for children with special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.
  3. Designate someone you trust to care for your minor children in the event something were to happen to you.
  4. Name someone you know and trust to manage your children’s inheritance should something happen to you.
  5. Protect your family from court in the event of incapacity. Durable Powers of Attorney should be created now to help ensure that your family does not have to go to court to make financial and health care decisions.
  6. Ensure that a surviving spouse or children will receive a step-up in basis. This can allow a spouse or child to sell an appreciated asset with little to no capital gains tax.
  7. Create a relationship with an attorney now so that you and your children will have an expert to answer your questions and concerns as they arise over the next few decades.

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Estate CPA

Gilbert, AZ