# 30 - Estate Planning Considerations
In this week's episode:
Do you need estate planning?
I'm going to talk about 14 of the major considerations you should be thinking about when you're considering whether you should plan no matter what your age. Now just be aware, this is of course not legal advice. This is just general information and you really should get with a qualified estate planning or elder law attorney if any of these issues apply to you.
- Time - Does your family need access to the full amount of money that you have right away? Or, do you want them to have full access? Do you want your family to be in control? Or do you not care if the court is in control? Without good estate planning, the control will be with the court vs. control with your family.
- Children & Grandchildren who are minors - the default is that if you leave money to a minor, they automatically get what you left to them when they turn 18. If that is not something that you want to happen, you need to have good estate planning.
- If you are divorced or have an adult child that is divorced and children are involved, or you’re just simply not married and children are involved - One of the big considerations is if something happens to the parent of the child or grandchildren, then, what’s going to happen to your money? If you don’t plan for it, then the other parent, the divorced parent that’s not involved, is going to be in charge of the money that you left to a specific child.
- Children’s Possible Divorce - You want to have a plan for who will receive your money, in the event of a divorce happening to the person you leave the money to. If you don’t want that money to go to your in-laws, or as some of my clients call them “outlaws”, then you want to have some estate planning in place.
- Blended Families - not everyone’s family are like the Brady Bunch, which means that if you don’t want to have a bunch of bad blood left behind you, at your death, you need to plan for who your money is going to, to eliminate any questions as to how you want your money to be distributed.
- Non-Traditional Households & Life Partners - If you are not legally bound to the person that you want to leave your money to, or you want them to make medical & financial decisions for you - you have to have estate planning in place, in order to make sure that that can legally happen.
- Privacy - There is a vast industry, right now, that is geared toward preying on people after somebody has died. Tricking their loved ones into giving them money. If you don’t want to open your family up to a breach of privacy, then estate planning is very important.
- Family Members that are financially irresponsible - we ALL have these family members. You give them a buck, they spend 10. Do you want your money to be left with them, and for them to let it fall through their fingers, like water? If you don’t, then good estate planning will help ensure that, that doesn’t happen.
- Being a Business Owner - If you are a business owner, you most definitely want to have estate planning, because you are going to want to have the right people that are going to make sure that your business is taken care of properly.
- Loved ones who are disabled - If you plan on leaving money behind to a loved one who is disabled, you are going to want to have estate planning done by someone who specializes in disability law because it is very complex.
- Nursing Home Poverty - If you are at all concerned about potential nursing home poverty, good elder law and estate planning are necessary for you.
- Estate Taxes - Most state and federal estate taxes, affect less than 1% of the American Public. However, you want to pay attention to your state’s estate tax limits, to ensure that they won’t affect you. Estate planners will help you with this complicated issue if it is something that you are worried about.
- Tax-Deferred Investments: IRAs, 401Ks, 403Bs - The difference between estate taxes and income taxes are very complex. These are all investments that are taxable upon distribution. The law has been fluctuating over this issue over the past few years, but as far as I can tell, Uncle Sam is going to take far more money from you or your family member, in income taxes related to your tax-deferred investments at death, than you will most likely ever pay on estate taxes.
- Non-Disabled Dependent Adults - I am consistently shocked by the number of people that have adult children that live on them or that they give money to very frequently because the adult child, who's not disabled, has a dependency on the parents. If you are in this situation, It's really important that you sit down with a good estate planning attorney and have conversations about how that's going to be dealt with in the future.
About the show
Planning isn’t just about getting your will done or going to see your financial planner once a year. SMART planning involves an educated process that incorporates the latest in legal, financial, and healthcare strategies to work toward the most desirable result – the quality of life, throughout your entire life.
The biggest problem, too often, is that “traditional” notions of what is right to do in both legal and financial estate planning don’t always work in today’s world.
I created SmartPlanning101 to help all of us learn how to be better planners for the future – and stay in control. To learn how and when we need to challenge the “status quo” and “conventional wisdom.” To be in a nutshell- “smart planners.”Learn More About The Show Click Here