estate planning strategies
How to Guard Your Estate with 4 Strategies (Even if You Have Few Assets)

You work hard for your money and the property that you own, but you don’t have to worry about estate taxes. After all, a single person can have up to $11.2 million in assets before having to even think about Uncle Sam getting a share, right? Well, yes, that’s true. But estate planning strategies are for everyone. If you own any property, have a bank account, pay for life insurance, or have a retirement fund, then you have an estate to protect.

There are so many factors that play into how your specific circumstances will play out when it comes to distributing your estate after death. If you want to keep your money in the family, consider these four estate planning strategies.

Create a Will

As much as 64 percent of adults don’t have a will. That’s a big chunk of the population that could be putting their families through more grief and hassle than they need to. When you don’t have a will, your case must go through probate court, which means that your family is going to have to pay for court costs and attorney fees.

Review Your Beneficiaries

The people you want to receive part of your estate will change during the course of your life. You might have more children. Someone you name as a beneficiary could pass away. As sad as it is, you might get a divorce. For these and other reasons, it’s important to review your beneficiaries regularly, especially following major life events.

If you have any assets that allow you to name beneficiaries independent of a will, such as a life insurance policy or a retirement fund, it’s imperative that you keep your beneficiaries up to date.

Set up a Trust

Setting up and funding a trust is one of the best estate planning strategies. That’s because you can save on taxes and even stipulate how and when the money will go to a beneficiary.

Say that you want to leave your children money but are concerned that they might not be responsible with it before a certain age. You can set the age that they will be able to collect and even what they can use the money for, like a college education.

Gift Money While You’re Alive

If you want to ensure that your family receives the money in your estate, one way you can do that is to give it to them while you’re still living. For 2018, the annual gift tax exclusion is $15,000 per person. That means you can give each of your family members up to that amount every year without it being taxed. Neither you nor recipients will have to pay taxes on it.

Want More Estate Planning Strategies?

Is your estate set up in a way that will actually benefit your family? If you’re unsure where to start with estate planning, get in touch with the experts. Don’t let people who aren’t part of the family get their hands on your money. Call Casal & Moreno for more estate planning strategies.