Everyone wants a “simple” estate plan. But many have complicated notions about distribution of assets. We want to help you simplify your estate plan.
We see many clients with fixed ideas about which assets should go to which beneficiaries. Do you have four children? Well, couldn’t you just open four accounts at different financial institutions and leave one to each child?
Or perhaps you think one child might want to live in your home. Can you just adjust the amount in each of those financial accounts, and then leave the home and a smaller account to that child? Do you really know what your children will do with your home?
Ah, but your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) has a different value to each beneficiary. Most of the beneficiaries will get less out of an IRA because of the income tax liability attached to it. You might want to take advantage of that disparity, leaving taxable income to the beneficiaries who have the least tax to pay. Plus your estate plan can actually get disrupted by changes in law or circumstance.
Oh, and wait. What if you need money to provide for extra health care at life’s end. Which account(s) will that money come from? And what if the person in charge of making decisions effectively adjusts your plans by choosing which accounts to diminish or enhance?
Join us for our podcast discussion about how to really simplify your estate plan. Spoiler alert: we’re going to ask you to step back from your preconceptions about which asset should go to which beneficiary, and focus instead on larger goals. Do you want rough — or even precise — parity among your beneficiaries? Let us help you get to your actual goal, rather than the complex structure you might have constructed in advance.