Thursday, December 10, 2009

Don't Wait Plan Estate

By: Nicole Nelson

Although many people have been putting off making an estate plan because of rumors of the elimination of the federal estate tax, president Obama has stated that the tax isn’t going anywhere. People shouldn’t be worrying about estate tax though since only the wealthiest two percent pay this tax, they should be worrying about if their estate protects what needs to be protected. There are certain things to make sure you include when planning your estate. If you have children that are minors, you need to name a guardian and a trustee (who should not be the same person) in case both you and your spouse die. Also, some states require that a half to a third of your estate goes to your spouse even if you specify in your will a smaller share. It is also important to know that an estate has a couple parts. These parts are your will, an assignment of power of attorney and a living will or health care proxy. It also may be a good idea to make a trust. Trusts aren’t just for the wealthy these days. They can allow you to reduce your estate tax as well as gift tax (if they apply). They also may be able to offer you greater protecting of your assets from creditors you may have and against potential lawsuits. Overall it is never too early to plan your estate. It is also always a better idea to have one then not. Having an estate will make it much easier for your loved ones after you die.

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