Why You Need to Think About Estate Planning
Nobody likes to think of their death, but when that time does come most want to know that their assets and all their belongings that they have worked so hard for over the years is going to end up belonging to the people they care for most. Then there are others who figure that the family they are leaving behind can sort it all out on their own. If you truly care about your assets and want them to end up in the right hands then you do have to do some estate planning. Not doing so can leave your loved ones in a very difficult position of trying to sort out your estate.
If you don’t have any significant assets then this is not going to be as big of an issue. If you happen to own a business however, it could be a whole different story.
Who are you going to leave this business to? You may have some kids that are really involved in this entity now, while your other child has no interest in it. Yet, you want both kids to be treated equally when it comes to your estate.
You may decide to leave all of the children equal shares in the business and let them sort out their business relationship. Then you may decide to leave the business to the child that is interested in and leave the uninterested one something of equal value like cash or another asset. If you are going this route then you really need to determine the value of the business for estate equality purposes.
A family business may not be something you own so you have no concerns here, but what about some of your other assets like your vacation home. If you only have one child or one loved one that you are leaving everything to, then you don’t have near the concerns that a person with several children has. You will need to give some thought as to what will happen if the vacation home is left equally to all of the children. Some may want to keep it, while the others may want to sell it. This is something you should discuss with them sooner than later. Based on your conversation with then you may decide to sell the property at some point in time prior to your death, and place the money in trust.
One of the biggest concerns that parents have is the thought of creating animosity amongst their children once the parents have passed away. First speak to your accountant so you have a clear understanding of what your assets are and their value. Next see an estate lawyer to help you draft up a clear and concise will.