As estate attorneys, such as Skeen Law Offices, help individuals to make goals and provide for their finances in passing, clients often have a lot of questions about how to structure an estate for the future. Read on to better understand some of the issues that these legal professionals advise on.
What Is a Taxable Estate?
The fact is that according to the federal government, an estate can be over $5 million dollars before it is considered taxable. However, states also have their own maximums, and many of them are significantly less.
A qualified estate attorney will walk the client through the realities of what gets taxed, according to estate tax law. Then, the attorney and his or her client can start thinking about how to protect certain amounts of money from liabilities.
What About Gifting Alternatives?
Gifting money prior to estate proceedings is one of the major ways that high net worth individuals achieve wealth transfers without high tax burdens. This strategy also relies on good legal counsel. For instance, federal annual gifting maximums have risen to $14,000 per beneficiary, per year, but some of those who benefit from estate planning don't know this. They may think that an older limit of $10,000 per year applies, and they may be confused about who can get, and who can give, the money.
Who Will My Executors and Power of Attorney Be?
Another big component of estate planning comes down to those very tricky relationships between people. Part of anticipating estate challenges is looking at how beneficiaries or other involved individuals will act after someone has passed on. Sometimes, a client may have a certain insight into the life of the family, and how to structure an estate in a way that won't leave it open to subjective wrangling or cause major problems between multiple executors. In cases where family is limited and power of attorney outside the family may be an issue, estate lawyers can also plan to help seniors to protect themselves financially.
What About a Trust?
There's also the issue of whether to set up financial trusts, and whether an estate or trust should be a direct beneficiary, or whether the younger family members themselves should be direct beneficiaries. Each of these approaches has its own pros and cons that attorneys can point out in estate consultation.
Understanding all of these questions helps with developing a better understanding of how estate planning professionals work with clients to help them create better wills and estate documents.