If you have not begun to give thought to your will, now might be the time. It is never too soon, and, as this article states, it is one less thing your loved ones have to go through if you suddenly pass away. This article is great at explaining what might happen if you don’t have the right documents in order and what documents you should have in the first place.
As far as taxes go when it comes to estate planning, chances are, you won’t have to worry about the estate tax.
“It’s important to remember that 99 percent of all people don’t need to focus on the tax aspects of estate planning,” said Pete Lang, president of Lang Capital. “For the vast majority of the population, there will be no gift or estate tax.”
For 2016, the Internal Revenue Service will impose taxes on estates whose assets exceed $5.45 million. Roughly 0.02 percent of the population ends up paying the estate tax in any given year.
Estate planning also “helps protect against families fighting, or someone potentially contesting the wishes of the deceased,” Rafal said. “We’ve had new clients come to us who didn’t have proper planning, and their families have been torn apart.”
Rafal said it’s also important to make a list – handwritten or electronic – of all your assets and where they are.
“It makes it so much easier upon death or incapacity so your family isn’t running around wondering what you have or don’t have,” he said.
– By Sarah O’Brien, special to CNBC.com