No matter how large or small your property or assets, be you single or married, if you have children or even pets, it’s necessary to have a will that delineates what will happen to your property after your death. Most Americans know that they should have a will, but never get around to writing one, leaving the courts to decide what goes where and to whom.
As stated more than half of Americans, 51%, age 55 to 64, have not made a will, and in general, 64% of the American public have no last will and testament. That?s leaving an awful lot up to the courts; they don?t know what your desires are.
If you are over 65, the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is meet with an elder law attorney to discuss estate planning.
A good elder law attorney knows that if your assets are six figures or higher, in addition to a will, you should probably have a trust set up. This will help minimize estate taxes your loved ones could have to pay and help to avoid their having to go to probate court. A good elder law attorney also knows what laws change and when. When it comes to bequests, for example, a will lawyer should know that in 2015, you can leave gifts upon your death to chosen individuals, worth up to $5.43 million, free of any federal estate tax. This is the estate-tax exemption for this year. In fact, unless your estate has a value of more than $5.43 million — or $10.86 million for a married couple — you?re exempt from federal estate taxes altogether.
You can?t be expected to just know these things, that?s why we seek legal services. You wouldn?t allow the courts to perform surgery on you or fix your car. Don?t leave the division of you estate in their hands either. See an estate planning attorney today, for a more relaxed tomorrow.