The underlying message of any holiday season gift is that we care about the person receiving it and we want them to be happy and healthy. This just so happens to be the same message behind estate planning – taking care of the people who mean the most to us. Why not make things simple and combine estate planning with holiday gift-giving?
Gifting Assets & Choosing Inheritors
Sometimes an estate’s total value is so great, it will be subjected to steep estate taxes that pull resources out of the estate for the benefit of the state or federal government. This is not an ideal situation for most testators, but there are a few ways to avoid it. In particular, individual pieces of an estate can be gifted to loved ones to reduce the estate’s value, such as giving an automobile to a cousin who is just learning to drive. Each year, gifting is limited to a certain amount, so it is important to start gifting sooner than later. How about right now, when it is the season of giving?
Beyond gifting assets to lower your estate’s value and to serve as a direct holiday gift, the overall process of estate planning is a bit of a gift itself. This is especially true when considering inheritors. Many peoples’ lives turn around in no small thanks to inheritances, such as a family on the verge of losing their home being selected to inherit a sizeable amount of finances or even a family home. In this way, being named an inheritor can be the greatest gift of all.
If you want to take care of your loved ones through estate planning but are not sure how, the Law Offices of James C. Shields can be of assistance. Our Torrance estate planning attorneys would be happy to review your options during a free initial consultation and help you determine what you can do to set your family up for comfort after you are gone. We can also help you manage any other aspects of your estate plan that might need attention as well. Call 888.910.6652 for more details about our services.