Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, inheritance tax, Probate Process, Probate Property, Estate   Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, inheritance tax, Probate Process, Probate Property, Estate 
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Home > Trusts > Wills

Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, inheritance tax, Probate Process, Probate Property, Estate
The Will is the single most important document in estate planning. Your will allows you to make final decisions about your estate. You can divide your estate as you choose, create trust funds and charitable endowments, and reduce the amount of inheritance tax your beneficiaries will have to pay.

Always get advice on inheritance issues
Given the importance of wills, you should never fail to consult with experts in estate planning. A carefully drawn up will clearly states who inherits your estate, how the estate is to be divided, and at times even set a timeframe for inheritance. Your will should include guardianship information if your children are underage. Monetary inheritances could be placed in trust until children come of age. Even though you choose who will benefit from your will, a poorly designed will may cause legal challenges to your beneficiaries. Do not try to write your will yourself - a financial consultant can help make your will as clear as possible.

Updating your will
A will need not be static. You should periodically review your estate planning documents as your life unfolds. This generally means updating your will. Family events often necessitate such changes. Events such as marriage, divorce, births, deaths, etc may drastically change your plans for your estate. You may want to add a charity to your list of beneficiaries. A charitable endowment could be a one-time donation or a trust fund that makes regular donations to your chosen charity.

Wills and inheritance tax
Inheritance tax can cost your beneficiaries huge sums of money. A carefully planned will can lessen the amount of inheritance tax due upon your death. Inheritance tax is governed by complicated laws that are mostly confusing unless you're trained in estate planning. Ask a financial expert for assistance in minimizing inheritance tax.

Dying without estate planning
If you die before you make a will, your estate will be distributed by the State, applying arbitrary probate laws governing the shares to be given to immediate and distant relatives.

If you die without relatives and without a will, your entire estate becomes the property of the State. Even if family members do inherit under such circumstances, the value of the estate will have been reduced by the maximum amount of tax possible - tax that could have been reduced with proper planning. Getting advice from an estate planning specialist can help your beneficiaries avoid these unpleasant scenarios.

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