What you don’t know about estate planning will cost you (CNBC.com article)

April 28, 2018 - Posted by: admin - In category:

taxes - No Responses

The old saying, what you don’t know CAN hurt you is applicable here.

Ted Snow is the author of a helpful online article appearing yesterday on CNBC.com wherein he covers some important estate planning concepts.  Of course, Mr. Snow changes the “can hurt you” to “will cost you” and perhaps in this context that subtle change is appropriate (in addition to being useful clickbait).  In any event, we know that there are many common estate planning mistakes which lead to unintended consequences and costs.  Almost all such mistakes are easily avoided with a little guidance and forethought.

“An inheritance is not a lottery. It is a lifetime or two of hard work not to be squandered, but to perpetuate responsibility, provision and generosity.”

Among the topics covered in the article are the following:

  • charitable giving–the importance for both the charitable organization recipients and the benefits received by the donors (not to mention the excellent example for others provided by such selfless giving)
  • leaving assets to loved ones–being “fair” by mandating equality to all heirs is not required and sometimes not wise
  • best practices for heirs–a few suggestions for judicious use of inheritance assets
  • asset protection–trusts can provide substantial asset protection benefits for heirs

When you are deciding how to plan your estate, keep these key ideas in mind: the importance of learning responsibility with money early, practicing frugality and stewardship often, enjoying the inheritance with your family to build memories, teaching your children well to replicate generosity and stewardship and to give generously to a charitable cause or someone in need.

In this age of information, it is surprising just how many myths and misunderstandings yet prevail in the area of estate planning.  Again, in almost all instances, the mistakes made in this area can be easily avoided for those who have the correct information.  And when estate planning mistakes happen, it is better to seek the proper remedy right away, rather than to wait for the passage of time.  This seems like common sense, right?  Even so, far too many mistakenly procrastinate solutions which can become decreasingly available and efficacious as the years pass.

By the way, that article originally appeared on Investopedia.com



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