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estate planning Archives

Trusts can provide greater protection

When Virginia residents think about their mortality, they often want to make sure that their assets can be disbursed according to their wishes. They also frequently want to pass on the vast majority of their assets to their heirs, rather than seeing a large portion consumed by estate taxes. In addition, many people prefer the flexibility, control and privacy provided by trusts, rather than simply passing assets on in a will. Trusts can have important benefits from the moment they are created, so many people prefer to create living trusts, rather than testamentary trusts that come into existence only after their death.

SECURE Act may affect retirement fund estate planning

For many people in Virginia, their retirement funds are an important part of their estate plans. After the original owner of a retirement account passes away, the remainder of the fund generally passes directly to a named beneficiary without going through the probate process. Rather than taking everything in the account at one time, named beneficiaries have, in the past, been able to stretch out the payments from the retirement funds over their own lifetimes. They have been required to take only the minimum necessary distributions, allowing the account to continue to grow while deferring taxation until their own retirement.

An estate plan isn't complete without a health care directive

Although addressing one's mortality through estate planning could be uncomfortable, it is important for anyone who wants control over what happens to their body as well as their assets immediately before and after their death. Most people know they need a will and possibly a trust to provide guidance about their assets but many Virginians don't understand the importance of a health care directive.

The importance of digital assets in an estate plan

When Virginia residents create estate plans, they may be wise to ensure that they do not overlook their digital assets. Important information today is often found on electronic rather than paper records, and not including usernames and passwords in an estate plan can leave executors, trustees and heirs in a very difficult position. Digital assets that may be left inaccessible by such an omission include computer files, online financial accounts, website domains, subscriptions, and social media, email and message board accounts.

Ignoring estate planning is a mistake many people make

Virginians who have yet to craft even a basic estate plan should consider the various reasons why it is beneficial to do so. This is true for people of any age. Many people ignore the reality of needing an estate plan. This can cause problems for their loved ones if the person becomes incapacitated or passes on without a plan in place.

Few Americans have estate plans in place

Many Texas residents agree that it is important to plan for the future when it comes to protecting their assets and making sure their loved ones are taken care of. This is in harmony with recent surveys showing that the majority of Americans understand how important estate planning is, but few actually have a plan in place.

Passwords can be important to estate planning

Virginia residents often rely on their online accounts and mobile devices to manage important assets. Of course, managing an online account requires having access to digital passwords. While estate owners need to protect their passwords in order to preserve privacy and defend against theft, it's also important to think about how accounts will be managed in cases of death or incapacity.

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