Yes, you still need an estate plan even though the Estate, Gift and Generation Skipping Tax exclusion amounts have been permanently set at $5,000,000 (indexed for inflation). Taxes are only one of the myriad of reasons to create a comprehensive estate plan.
Other reasons to create and maintain your estate plan:
- Nominate guardians for minor children. Guardians for minor children must be nominated in a Last Will.
- Create provisions for the possible event of incapacity. You must have Power of Attorney documents in place in order for loved ones to make decisions on your behalf in the event of incapacity.
- Nominate the beneficiaries of your estate. Without a proper estate plan in place, your estate will be subject to the statutory rules dictating disposition of assets. You may or may not agree with how the state will divide your assets.
- Create provisions for how beneficiaries receive your estate. You may want to provide restrictions on the use of inheritance or the age at which a beneficiary receives an inheritance. If you have a special needs beneficiary, they must receive their inheritance in a specific way so as not to lose any government benefits.
- Avoid probate. If you want your estate to avoid the unnecessary expense, delay and publicity of probate, you need to take the necessary steps of creating an estate plan.
Contributed by Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale Estate Planning Attorney and Partner Katherine A. O'Connell
What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down. The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.