With the Unified Estate and Gift Tax Credit amount set at $5,340,000 for 2014, not many Americans will have to worry about the estate or death tax anymore. That does not mean that you can ignore your estate plan. Domestique Capital can work with your attorney to help ensure that you have a well thought out and implemented estate plan. We continually review beneficiaries and tie up loose ends to make sure you pass your wealth in the simplest and most tax efficient manner.
I believe every Texan should have at least the following:
Primary and Secondary Beneficiaries on all financial accounts
Beneficiary designations trump your will, so it is very important to regularly review these. Your will can say that everything goes to your spouse, but if you still have your brother as the beneficiary on an old 401(k), your brother will inherit the 401(k). There are many ways to make costly tax mistakes here and you should seek competent advice.
In Texas, each person should have their own will. Your will designates where you want your property that doesn’t have a beneficiary attached to it to go when you pass away. You can name one person to receive everything or you can name many people. You can even make sure your nephew gets that special watch he has always admired. Your will can also designate a Guardian for your children and you can create a trust for any minor children as a paragraph in your will.
Power of Attorney (POA)
This document is important while you are alive. It allows your agent to act on your behalf in financial matters. You spell out what type of powers you grant that agent and when he or she has those powers. You could give the power to sell stocks, gift money from your bank account, or even sell your house.
The lack of this document created the Terri Schiavo controversy. Some people refer to this document as the “pull the plug decision.” It is not easy to think about, but you can save your family a lot of stress by making this decision while you are healthy and of sound mind.
Health Care Power of Attorney
In the event that you become incapacitated, this document will allow the agent you selected to make health care decisions for you. This can be very relevant when two family members disagree over how to proceed with your medical care. This document lets everyone know who you trusted to make some difficult decisions regarding your health.
We are a Plano, TX Estate Planning Firm serving the Dallas area and the rest of Texas
Be prepared for whatever comes and make sure your family is cared for. We are an estate planning firm and financial advisor in Plano Texas, and ready to serve you. While many of our clients are in the Plano and Dallas, TX areas, we have many clients throughout Texas and would love to work with you no matter where you live.