Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Does An Estate Consist of?

Post by David Held

When people are trying to plan out their estates the most common question is; what is included in it? People can be either extremely specific or very broad when doing estate planning. The more specific someone is, when writing their will or planning their estate, the less bickering, fighting, and legal work there usually is by their heirs. Everyone has seen on TV, siblings fighting over Mom and Dad valuables, and believe it or not, this is very common in the real world.

The most important thing to put in an estate would have to be your greatest assets. For most people their house is the most valuable thing they own. Along with their house; cars, stocks, clothing, jewelry, bonds, retirement options, and various other assets which could include coin and stamp and art collections, even businesses, should all be included or taken into consideration when distributing ones estate. “How the estate is distributed is determined by several things: the will, the beneficiaries named (if any), the way the property is titled, any letter of instructions, and the laws of the state in which the person lived.”

The average person doesn’t equate taxes with inheritance, so estates have to plan on how to pay the government. Once a person dies, the government intervenes to make sure that they get their share of taxes from the estate. It may take a while to settle an estate once the government gets involved; it could be even years before everything is settled. That is why it is very important to hire a good lawyer, while you are young, to help get everything in order!

Sources #1, #2, #3


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