J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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Attorney and CPA

How to protect the interests of inheritors in an estate plan

Estate planning serves to protect the interests of the loved ones of Florida residents. A well-planned estate can leave loved ones with clear-instructions as to how assets should be distributed following a person's passing. In the absence of an estate plan, family members may have to involve themselves in messy court room situations. What's more, they may have to deal with unwanted tax issues that often arise when a well-prepared estate plan is not in place.

Well-prepared estate plans require thoroughness. When beginning the process, this means compiling a comprehensive inventory. This inventory should include everything from account numbers to assets and debts. The executor of the will -- basically, the person who is assigned to protect the assets and then make sure they are distributed in the way the drafter of the will states -- should be given a copy of this inventory.

Next, it is oftentimes helpful to take certain actions that protect assets for inheritors. This might mean minimizing expenses and ensuring that inheritors are not plagued with burdensome estate taxes. Trusts can be useful for minimizing estate taxes.

A well-drafted estate plan includes a number of elements that serve to protect a variety interests. Knowing what options are available, as well as how to best execute each of the options, can help the drafter of an estate plan move closer to meeting their goals and needs.

Every person has unique goals when it comes to estate planning. By approaching these goals and needs with experience, knowledge and expertise, it is possible to protect the interests of inheritors and leave behind instructions as to exactly how assets should be distributed.

Source: Forbes, "6 Essential Steps For Every Estate Plan," Mar. 12, 2014

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