Death, Taxes, & Gifts: Protecting Loved Ones from Probate

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Death, Taxes, & Gifts: Protecting Loved Ones from Probate

What is Probate?

Everyone dies. While this is mostly an uncomfortable topic- it does not have to be. All of our loved ones can be protected with estate planning and / or a will. Probate happens when a person dies with a will, and that will must be approved by the courts.

How Does it Affect Me?

Now matter how much money you have, estate planning and wills can help you determine what happens to your property when you die. For instance, if you want to give your house to charity- you may be overlooking some significant tax benefits ($10,000’s) if you do not plan properly.

Basically, your options include:

  1. Planning your estate
    • Choice
    • Freedom
    • Options
  2. The court will decide how your property is distributed
    • No choice
    • Restricted
    • Few options

If you do not plan where everything goes, a judge will. That special bank account which you want for your grandkids may end up in the hands of a estranged family member.

How Can I Choose Where My Property Goes?

If you are an adult, planning for end-of-life can be scary, complicated, and confusing. Some property can be excluded from the probate process- meaning you have flexibility to choose who gets what. It is important to think about creating a will or a trust, which can protect your valuables and earn you thousands of dollars in tax relief.