Estate Planning is Essential for Your Heirs
Estate planning can be a difficult subject matter that many people would rather avoid altogether. While it is a sensitive topic, it is essential that you plan for the distribution of your assets. There are choices that need to be made that only you can make. Your assets are yours to do as you choose, and it is important that your wishes be carried out. You get to decide who gets what and when they get it. Without proper estate planning, there could be difficult decisions made after you are gone that would result in family disputes.
There are many things to consider when thinking about estate planning, such as what items are classified as tangible gifts and what items are non-tangible, how you should divide your assets, and whether you should consider family input in the division of assets. All of these things should be considered before the completion of estate planning, and the added knowledge of an estate planning attorney would be incredibly beneficial. St. Cloud, MN attorneys Jeddeloh Snyder Stommes have experienced attorneys and want to help you.
Many assets that you leave to your heirs are considered tangible items. These are physical articles that will be passed from you to your intended heir. They are items such as jewelry, furniture, artwork, firearms, and any collectible items. Collectible items can be anything from coins to antiques to fine china. Often these items have a great sentimental value or have some family history. More than one family member would wish to receive these pieces, and disputes could arise without knowing whom you would like them to go to.
Non-tangible gifts are not necessarily physically passed from you to your heirs. These items take various forms and are more complex to divide among your family members. Non-tangible items can also be difficult for some family members or friends to manage once in their possession. This will be important to remember when deciding which heirs to get the non-tangible gifts. You will want to consider the responsibility of the friend or family member as well as the future of the gift. Ask yourself if they can manage the asset how you wish it to be handled in the future. Many items are considered non-tangible such as cash, franchise rights, intellectual property, and all types of securities like mutual funds, stocks and bonds, and trust accounts.
There is the option of donating these items to your favorite charity as well. Both tangible and non-tangible gifts can be distributed to the charity of your choosing. Once the decision has been made to donate to charity, your wishes should be known. Choosing an estate planning lawyer can make the transition of your assets to either your heirs or to charity go smoothly.
Making the Decision on Who Your Heirs Will Be
One method is to base the division of assets on family member’s behavior. In using this method, some family members will have behavior that you choose to reward with the gifts, and others will have the behavior you decide not to reward. This way of dividing assets does not allow for an equal division of property and assets but rather gives you more freedom to choose who might be more deserving of the different assets you are gifting. Another way of dividing assets is to distribute them equally among your heirs. This method can be the most simplistic of the three methods, but there may be concerns about how some heirs will handle certain gifts. The final way to divide assets is that of division by financial need. The way this method works is that those heirs who have the greatest need are given the most. This method is carried out by calculating the net worth of all heirs that are being considered, those with the greatest net worth are given the least, and those with the smallest net worth are given the most.
Every family has unique circumstances, and not every method will work for every family.
Each style of asset division has positives and negatives. An experienced estate planning attorney will help you weigh your options and give sound legal advice on which method of dividing your assets might be best for your situation. Some family members also want to be involved in the decision-making process of estate planning. It can be a family affair if the family circumstances allow for it. Assessing the maturity level of family members and other possible heirs is highly beneficial when choosing whether or not to include them in the decision-making process. In certain family situations, including others in the process can be a wonderful experience. In other family situations, it can create tension and hurt feelings. Knowing your family situation and discussing the possibility with your estate planning attorney is important.
Estate Planning Done RightThere are many questions to ask yourself when considering asset division plans. Estate planning and will writing are sensitive subjects, and care must be taken at every step. An experienced and compassionate estate planning attorney will ensure that every detail is handled correctly and with sensitivity. The St. Cloud, MN attorneys at Jeddeloh Snyder Stommes will ask the right questions. They will find out what type of assets you have, whom you plan to leave them to, and which division method will work best for your unique situation. Your assets are important, and your wishes are essential in the future of those assets you have earned over your lifetime.
Estate planning done right.
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