Estate Planning Tools
What is estate planning tool?
Estate planning is to decide who will receive your own property after you die and to choose the way the property would be transferred in a safe way, at your death.
The most popular legal tool for your estate distribution planning is a will. Your estate is ranging from your real estate to your personal property, so to speak everything that you own. By using a will form, you can accomplish the goal of planned distribution of your estate property successfully. But there might be other objectives that you have in mind, that cannot be accomplished only via will. In such case, other estate planning documents are needed. There are three reasons that other estate planning tools are needed.
Avoiding Probate Process
In most cases, people don't want to their property be subject to probate proceedings. But there are some valid reasons that you allow property to be handled through probate proceedings. It will give an opportunity of examining the validity of your will, providing a process by which any improper distribution of your assets will be guarded against. By having your property distributed via a probate process will also put a definite limit on the duration of time that a creditor can file a claim against your estate in case of dispute.
However there is a drawback of probate process that it might delay the distribution of your property while the entire process continues. Generally the probate of an estate could take up to 18 months or longer, and the cost will be substantial.
The amount of property and funds will include court fees, appraisal fees, attorney's fees and accounting bills that are eventually to be distributed to your beneficiaries. In case of small estates, usually under $100,000, the probate procedures are relatively simplified in most states thus no need to hire lawyers with expensive costs.
The second major use for estate planning tools is to try to lower or completely avoid the payment of any taxes on the transfer of property upon your death.
The transfer of property due to the owner's death may be subject to many taxes categories such as federal estate taxes, state estate taxes, and state inheritance taxes. But much of the estate taxes won't become a factor if your estate value is less than one million dollars. Therefore, most people do not need to plan on complex tax avoidance plan. Even in the case of needing a specific tax plan for your estate distribution, it is recommended to seek a tax professional's advice because the complexity of tax laws is beyond regular people's knowledge.
The third main purpose of estate planning is pretty much new concern. Due to recent technology development, many people are expected to have longer and healthier lives. Additionally, may have become aware of the possibility of the life being continued indefinitely via modern medical life support procedures. There are two legal documents developed in order to deal with these concerns. One if Living Will and the other is Durable Power of Attorney.
If you would like to prepare a will, you may use Free Will Forms but ensure that you have the form signed. Any signed form is legally binding, so ask lawyers for any questions. For easy downloadable legal forms, go online and search for Free Legal Forms and you can find many general legal forms and documents such as Living Will, Power of Attorney Estate Planning.