Facing your own mortality can be a difficult challenge for anyone. It may not be particularly pleasant to imagine the world after you've left it, but if you've spent your life working hard to build a strong financial base, it's important that it can be passed on to your loved ones with minimal restrictions and interference.
Unfortunately, there are some common traps that many people fall into when planning their estates. In some cases, those traps may not even reveal themselves until the estate is executed, by which time it's far too late to fix the problem. The best way to minimize those concerns is to take the time to learn about common traps and ways you can avoid them.
Below, you'll find a guide to common estate planning mistakes that you should keep in mind when working with your attorney. Solid estate planning will be a massive relief to your family and interests after you've passed on and will allow you to leave a legacy that you can be truly proud of.
Complex Joint Property Interests
If you're a property owner, you may want to make sure that your interests remain held by your family after your death. Many people take a great deal of pride in their real estate, and therefore may have an aversion to having it liquidated. Unfortunately, if you're a joint owner on a piece of property, those wishes may be difficult to fulfill.
It's important to have an open conversation with anyone holding a joint interest in real property with you about your aims and goals for that property. Keep in mind that a surviving partner is likely to come into full control of real estate in most situations, so you may find yourself needing to buy out the interests of a joint party in order to be sure that the property will be disposed of in the way you desire.
Accepting A High Tax Burden
Many people find themselves frustrated by the regulations governing the taxation of sizable estates, but don't take the necessary follow-up step to attempt to reduce that burden. There are entirely legal and appropriate mechanisms that can allow you to protect your interests and preserve your estate for your intended heirs without dumping a complication on them that may be difficult to handle.
The provision of gifts is one way you can address those concerns. While there are also tax rules around gifts, they tend to be less burdensome than those governing estates. Providing gifts over a number of years can also allow you to help dissipate that burden rather than being exposed to the entire thing in one tax year. This can be an appealing option for people with a stable financial situation who are anticipating leaving a sizable financial legacy to their heirs.
Attempting To Plan Alone
Whether or not they recognize the risks of doing so, many people are willing to attempt to plan their own estates in an attempt to make the process somehow easier or less complicated. Unfortunately, this often has the opposite impact and can leave your benefactors struggling to recover.
If you have a complicated financial legacy, you need to be willing to accept professional assistance with governing it. Even situations which may seem simple on the surface are likely to have wrinkles as you look closer, and a professional can smooth those wrinkles with relative ease.
At the law offices of Steve C. Benton, you can be sure that you'll receive the estate planning services you need to preserve your legacy and finances for the next generation. This will allow you to sign off on a plan with confidence and can minimize the stress you feel about the next stage of your life.