8 Tips For Optimal Estate Planning

Estate planning is necessary for the protection and transmission of wealth and to ensure the care of minor children. A good estate plan is prepared well in advance. In this article, we  share 8 tips to help you plan your estate optimally.  Let us share our tips with you! 

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is the process of planning for the transfer, after death, of one’s assets, including investments and life insurance policies, to a person or persons of one’s choice in order to:

  • preserve or increase the value of the estate to the extent possible;
  • ensure that the right amounts are given to the right people; and
  • Reduce taxes.

It also ensures that your minor children are taken care of by the individuals you chose. And doing it the right way is the key. 

Tips for optimal estate planning.

Estate planning is essential but often neglected. At any age, it is essential to have a professionally drafted will to ensure that your assets are distributed effectively according to your wishes. 

Here are 8 tips for optimal estate planning.

  1. Don’t wait too long to plan for your estate

Estate planning is not just for those over 70 but starts much earlier than you think. It’s not often discussed, but the first steps in estate planning are taken when you get married (or cohabitate). It is especially important to have an estate plan if you have minor children. Your estate plan evolves as you travel through life’s stages. . If you wait until the end of your life to plan your estate, you may have to find your salvation in last-minute planning techniques that are often  risky.

  1.   Plan your succession according to your profile

Depending on each individual’s profile and objectives, there are different tools available to optimize succession planning. An estate planning attorney is familiar with the various options available. They will help you put in place an estate strategy adapted to your particular situation and desires, to provide for your dependents or,, to reduce the taxes that your spouse or children will pay at the time of death.

  1.   Create a will

Regardless of the assets making up the estate to be inherited, a will offers two major advantages:

  • It prevents conflicts between heirs, which are costly to the estate and can create additional family conflict.
  • It allows the deceased to keep control over the transmission of money and property and respect the deceased’s wishes: he or she chooses who will receive what, thus avoiding conflicts and legal complications. It also protects heirs from the risk of waste or malpractice.

A will also names a person responsible for the estate, a guardian to manage the legacy of minor children until they reach the age of majority, and plan the transfer and management of a business.

  1.   Protecting your heirs (inheritors)

Estate planning also means planning for the worst and protecting your loved ones in case of premature departure. Whether you are an employee or a business owner, there are various solutions to provide protection for dependent persons, such as life insurance policies.

  1. Think carefully about the contents of your marriage contract.

, If you have a prenuptial agreement, certain provisions in your marriage contract take precedence over inheritance law. Do you wish to favor your spouse as much as possible or, on the contrary, limit his or her share? The choice of the matrimonial regime is important and will determine the share that each heir will receive. If you opt for a marriage contract, it is important to think carefully about its content and evaluate it regularly. 

  1. Want to include your grandchildren in your estate planning?

In this way, you help them get a good start in life and benefit from a tax advantage. Your inheritance will be divided among a larger number of heirs. By allocating a share of your estate directly to your grandchildren, you pass on a generation and reduce the inheritance tax you may have to pay in the long run. In this case, you should always take into account the share reserved for your children.

  1.   Review your estate regularly.

Once developed, your plan  should be evaluated regularly. Over the years, it is not only your family situation and your needs that change, but legislation (especially tax regulations) is also subject to regular changes.

  1.   Entrust estate planning to specialists

Estate planning is a complex matter. In addition, your personal situation deserves tailor-made planning. For example, certain groups such as cohabitants, blended families, etc., require specific planning. 

View Our Frequently asked Estate Planning Questions

Do I need an estate plan if I do not have many assets? 

An important part of an estate plan is to provide for your minor children. If you do not have a will stating who you would like to care for your children when you are gone, the court will decide who should care for them. The court may not choose the same person you would for your children. Even if you do not have many assets, a will is important for this purpose.

Where do I start with estate planning?

It is usually recommended that you begin the process by taking an inventory of your assets to get a clear image/idea of what your estate will contain. You should also work with a financial advisor who can help you estimate your estate’s after-tax value.

How often should I review my estate plan?

Your estate plan should always be revised when a major event occurs in your life-death, divorce, the birth of a child- to reflect your new reality. 

Why is it important to plan your estate?

Suppose you don’t have a personalized estate plan as part of your overall financial planning. In that case, your assets may be distributed in a way you didn’t anticipate.

If you are needing more advice on estate planning, please contact one of our friendly attorneys at Robertson & Williams.  

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