Estate planning

Estate planning help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.

This article needs additional citations for verification. Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate during the person’s life and at and after death, while minimizing gift, estate, generation skipping transfer, and income tax. The law of estate planning overlaps to some degree with elder law, which additionally includes other provisions such as long-term care. More sophisticated estate plans may even cover deferring or decreasing estate taxes or business succession. Wills are a common estate planning tool, and are usually the simplest device for planning the distribution of an estate. It is important that a will be created and executed in compliance with the laws of the jurisdiction where it is created.

A trust may be used as an estate planning tool, to direct the distribution of assets after the person who creates the trust passes away. Trusts may be used to provide for the distribution of funds for the benefit of minor children or developmentally disabled children. An estate plan may include the creation of advance directives, documents that direct what will happen to a person’s estate and in relation to their personal care if the person becomes legally incapacitated. After widespread litigation and media coverage surrounding the Terri Schiavo case, estate planning attorneys often advise clients to also create a living will. Income, gift, and estate tax planning plays a significant role in choosing the structure and vehicles used to create an estate plan. In the United States, assets left to a spouse or any qualified charity are not subject to U.

5,430,000 for a person dying in 2015. Federal estate and gift taxes is to distribute the property in incremental gifts during the person’s lifetime. Other tax free alternatives include paying a grandchild’s college tuition or medical insurance premiums free of gift tax—but only if the payments are made directly to the educational institution or medical provider. Because life insurance proceeds generally are not taxed for U. Federal income tax purposes, a life insurance trust could be used to pay estate taxes.

However, if the decedent holds any incidents of ownership like the ability to remove or change a beneficiary, the proceeds will be treated as part of his estate and will generally be subject to the U. Countries whose legal systems evolved from the British common law system, like the United States, typically use the probate system for distributing property at death. Due to the time and expenses associated with the traditional probate process, modern estate planners frequently counsel clients to enact probate avoidance strategies. If a revocable living trust is used as a part of an estate plan, the key to probate avoidance is ensuring that the living trust is “funded” during the lifetime of the person establishing the trust. After executing a trust agreement, the settlor should ensure that all assets are properly re-registered in the name of the living trust.