Many people believe that the most important benefit of estate planning is the peace of mind they feel which allows them to sleep at night. We know that if you have your estate planning questions answered, you will feel peace of mind. So, we’re providing answers to questions our estate planning clients have felt were important.
I just heard someone talking about intestate succession. What is it?
If you die without a will, the state of Arkansas will create a will for you. This means that the state chooses who gets your assets after you die.
In all likelihood, the state will not make the same choices that you would. You need a will.
I’m worried about federal estate taxes. Should I be?
Well, if you’re like most people, you don’t have to worry about federal estate taxes if you die in the years 2011 and 2012.
However, if that’s not your plan, and you die in the year 2013 or later, federal estate taxes may be an issue.
During your estate planning process, we will discuss and implement federal estate tax planning. The good news is that every penny of the federal estate tax can be avoided with comprehensive estate planning.
I want to do something special for my niece when I die. What should I do?
Oh, there are all kinds of wonderful ways to honor someone you love. A monetary gift is nice, but if you’re looking for something special, you could:
- Write your niece a letter explaining how much she means to you.
- Include provisions in your trust to give your niece a treasured family heirloom.
- Give her something special shared between the two of you such as gardening tools, your tea set, or a cherished book.
- Set up a fund to send your niece on a special trip or to a personal development class.
- If your niece has always wanted to study music, film, or dance, pay for a class for her.
If you have more estate planning questions, please read parts 1 and 2 of this series and consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.