Chipman Mazzucco Emerson LLC

The truth about estate planning

Estate planning is not something that many people in Connecticut and elsewhere look forward to. Some people may lie to themselves to justify not creating a plan of their own. One lie that people common tell themselves is that they don't need a will because they don't have a lot of money. The truth is that a will can be helpful even a person does not have any money or assets of any kind. This is because a will can dictate who obtains guardianship of a minor child or whether an individual is cremated or buried.

For those who have a will, they may tell themselves that they have no need to create or update beneficiary forms. However, the language in a beneficiary designation trumps language in a will. Assets that may have a beneficiary designation attached to them include homes, retirement accounts and bank accounts.

Finally, individuals may believe that nothing has changed that warrants a review of their current plan. In some cases, the simple passage of time may be a good enough reason to do so. Changes to the tax code could make previous efforts to get around federal estate taxes inefficient or obsolete. Furthermore, trustees or executors will also get older over time, and at some point, they may no longer be the right people to hold those roles.

A properly created estate plan may allow for assets to be transferred in a timely manner. It may also allow them to be transferred in a manner that minimizes the odds of family disputes occurring. Those who want to keep the details of their estate private may benefit from the use of beneficiary designations. This is because assets are held outside of probate, so their transfer won't be made public.

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