By now, you probably know that establishing a valid will can financially protect your loved ones and ensure that your assets go to the right people. However, determining who gets what can be a little difficult. You want to make sure that everyone gets their fair share and doesn?t feel left out. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Leave Your Life Insurance to Someone Who Needs Access to Funds
If you have a life insurance policy, it?s best to leave it to someone who will need access to money soon after you die. Once the proof of death is established, the beneficiary will receive the life insurance within days or weeks. In many cases, the person who should receive the life insurance is the spouse. If you die unexpectedly, your spouse will receive the money quickly and won?t have to worry about struggling to pay the bills. If you decide to leave your life insurance policy to a minor child, be sure to name a guardian for them. Otherwise, the courts will assign someone to manage the money for your child.
Choose a Younger Beneficiary to Receive Your Retirement Plan
There are tax implications to selecting the right beneficiary to receive your retirement plan. In general, it?s best to choose a younger person. They will have a longer life expectancy and will have longer to withdraw funds from the account. In the meantime, retirement can continue to accumulate tax-deferred. On the other hand, if you would have left the retirement plan for someone over the age of 50, they would have to withdraw the funds at a faster rate.
Create a Revocable Living Trust for Certain Assets
When you create a will, your assets must go through probate before they can be distributed to your beneficiaries. This process can take up to a year. That?s why you should make sure the beneficiary you named in the will is in the position to wait. If you believe the beneficiary needs to receive your assets at a faster rate, establish a revocable living trust. The executor of your estate can then distribute these assets directly to your beneficiary without going through probate.
Talk to Your Family Members About What They Want
It?s a good idea to have discussions with your family about which assets they do and don?t want. For example, maybe your daughter would like your fine china set and your sister would like your paintings. After you have figured out what everyone wants, you can speak to your estate planning lawyer about how to work the decisions into your will.
If you follow these tips, it will make it a little easier to determine who should get what assets. If you have any further questions, don?t hesitate to discuss them with an experienced wills lawyer St. Peters, Missouri relies on.
Thanks to Legacy Law Center for their insight into estate planning and deciding who gets what in your will.