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August is Make-a-Will Month! Estate Planning: A Sophisticated Plan for Complexities

This August, we invite you to join others in celebrating Make-a-Will Month. We’re thrilled to feature guest author Carissa Peterson of The Strong Firm P.C., who will provide valuable insights into estate planning, from simple wills to more complex needs.

Carissa Peterson article banner for estate planning

More sophisticated estate planning may be appropriate for people that: have sufficient net worth to consider tax planning; own assets in more than one state or jurisdiction; highly prize privacy; have blended families, and/or have a history of family discord (“Complicating Factors”).

In 2022, the net amount a person can have without paying estate tax is slightly more than $12 million per person. Current legislation will reduce that amount to about $6 million per person in 2026.

If any of these Complicating Factors exists, more sophisticated estate planning may involve:

  • A revocable trust or an irrevocable trust: to provide privacy; to avoid probate; to create additional hurdles in the event of a contest; to complete tax planning; may create creditor protection for your surviving spouse, children, or descendants; allow control on your assets after your death; and efficiently transfer assets as desired.
  • Assets in more than one state or jurisdiction may require a new probate proceeding in every state or jurisdiction – implement a plant to avoid multiple probates.
  • Pre-marital or post-marital agreements allow spouses to partition the assets, debts, and income they have during their marriage and thereby determine which assets will be included in their probate estate when those spouses are deceased.
  • Create a new entity to provide additional creditor protection and efficient transfer of assets.
  • Transfer on death deeds transfer title to real property to the person designated in the deed when the current owner passes away, and can be used to efficiently transfer title and avoid probate.
  • Appointment of guardian, to designate the person you wish to be appointed your guardian if a guardian is needed later in life, and listing people who should not be appointed.

Contact a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to discuss the best options for you and your family. The Strong Firm P.C. is available to consult with you today!