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estate planning Archives

Strategies for writing a dispute-proof will

Grief for a lost loved one can sometimes turn to resentment among surviving family members once they learn the terms of the will. By taking a few important steps, however, a Virginia estate owner could prevent or reduce hurt feelings among heirs.

Survey finds most pastors lack estate plans

Virginia residents may understand the importance of having a will and other estate plan documents. However, according to a LifeWay Research survey, over half of Southern Baptist pastors don't have a will, trust or legacy story. This is in spite of the fact that 74 percent of survey participants said that estate planning is an important part of managing assets. Of those surveyed between the ages of 18-44, only 31 percent had a will.

Estate planning for art and collectibles

Art collectors in Virginia may have special concerns to address during the estate planning process. There are an array of tax laws that apply to these types of assets, which can carry significant sentimental value in addition to their assessed value. In fact, many collectors consider their art collections to be an appreciating investment.

Reasons for estate planning

Virginia residents should understand that estate planning is a way to make sure that their financial assets are managed and protected in a manner that is in accordance with their wishes. It can be used to minimize the various taxes that can be assessed, including gift, individual and estate taxes. Regardless of the size of their estate, everyone who possesses assets should develop an estate plan.

Elements in selecting the right trustee

Virginia residents might use a trust as part of an estate plan in a number of different ways. Assets such as annuities or life insurance policies could be placed in the trust to accrue value while remaining tax-free or tax-deferred. A trust can also be used to control whether distributions are made to beneficiaries all at once or over time and what conditions will trigger them.

Important elements of an estate plan

People in Virginia who are creating estate plans should think about what kind of legacy they want to leave for their families. An estate plan and the conversations a person has with loved ones regarding this document can be an opportunity to teach family members values, such as the importance of people over money. One way to demonstrate this might be by leaving a portion of the inheritance to charity.

Estate planning is for everyone

There is a common misconception among Virginia residents that estate planning is essential for the wealthy but wasted on people with less substantial portfolios. The simple truth is that estate planning is beneficial for every size of estate and a vehicle to provide guidance and support for loved ones in a time of confusion and grief. A will instructs everyone concerned how to proceed with the distribution of assets after a loved one's death. Making such decisions in advance shows consideration for loved ones and beneficiaries, such as charitable interests.

If you have a will, update it frequently

There are many people out there that put off the job of planning their estate. This is due to the seemingly daunting nature of estate planning, and also because many people assume that they "don't have the wealth necessary" to have an estate plan. However, if you commit to it, estate planning is not as insurmountable as it seems. In addition, there is never a bad time to plan out your estate -- regardless of your wealth.

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