On this segment of Better Money Boston on WCVB Channel 5, Joel Johnson, CFP® discusses estate planning and why it is necessary.
Only 30% of people in the United States have a will. When you pass away without a will, the state you live in establishes it for you, deciding where your money goes. If you have minor children, the state will appoint them a guardian and it likely will not be the person you would’ve chosen.
Asset Protection is beneficial both when you are alive and after your death.
For instance, in the event that you are in a car accident and found liable, your assets will not be at risk of getting lost should you be sued.
Asset protection is important after your death because you can determine whether the money you leave your family is paid out in a lump sum or interval payments. That money is also protected from being lost in a future lawsuit or divorce.
The Northeast, for example, pays a lot of taxes and many states have an inheritance tax in addition to federal tax. You will want to minimize the probate fees and estate taxes.
There are ways to have some say on how your money is spent even after you’re gone. Make sure it is not spent how you don’t want it spent, whether by your children or someone married to your children. The best thing is to leave a clear picture of your finances and your wishes on how they be handled.
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