Everyone wants to leave a wonderful legacy behind. However, there are steps you need to take when you are alive to ensure that you leave wonderful legacy behind. Speak to an experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer to know more. Remember if you die without a valid estate planning device in place, you have no control over how your assets will be distributed after your death. The State of Utah will decide who gets what and how much of your estate using certain formula prescribed by a set of laws known as Utah intestacy laws.
Leaving money to heirs is a wonderful legacy, but it can also raise important questions. Money left outright or in trust can leave heirs with questions about what the money “means” and what you meant by leaving it to them in the form you did. You would be surprised, even shocked, at how often heirs misunderstand and read unpleasant intentions into an inheritance or trust document. When money is left to a child by a parent who has died when that child is too young to remember much, leaving letters, videos, and a record of your values, hopes, and dreams is especially healing.
Even if your children are grown, it is wise to leave them a loving record of what you meant. It can take the coldness out of the probate process and reassure them that your choices are motivated by your bond with them. Of course, nothing is better than your living voice, face to face. Since no one can be certain of the circumstances of his or her own death, you may want to be diligent about dialogue now and making your wishes or expectations clear. It can be so helpful to free heirs of their guessing by transparent conversations about your wishes, especially with adult children or your spouse. If there are contingencies to your leaving money (for example, when a child receives money from a trust only if she or he has completed a certain level of schooling or earned his or her own income for a certain period of time), make them known as well. Get a shared understanding, even an agreement. Don’t let the last will and testament come as a big surprise, shrouded in mystery and legal language.
Consult with an experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer to decide on which estate planning device you should use. Estate planning means planning for the orderly handling, disposition, and administration of your goods and money when you die. Charitable estate planning is a vehicle that can help you give after you die in ways and amounts that often you could not give during your lifetime. There is a misconception that only those with a lot of money or other assets need to undertake thoughtful estate planning, including writing a will. That’s not true. If you have any money in a bank or retirement account, own a home or other real estate, or own anything of any value—a car, a work of art, jewelry—you have the chance to decide what will happen
to these possessions after your death. If you don’t decide, the government will decide for you. For those with larger estates, to die without an up-to-date will can cost a significant fraction of your wealth at death in unnecessary taxes. Estate planning, in short, lets you provide for loved
ones, make gifts to causes you care about, and save your heirs income
and estate taxes.
Bequests to the nonprofits you love and trusts for your family or heirs
can save your estate and heirs substantially while continuing your legacy
of charitable gifting. Your estate plan is more than dry legal documentation. Your estate plan is a testament to who you are and what you love. Make sure your estate plan reflects what is most important in your life so that your plan truly becomes your lasting legacy.
What if the estate tax goes away?
Or what if it changes in some other way? We must each take responsibility to keep our plans up to date with changing personal circumstances and changing laws. A plan that was perfect several years ago may well not work for you today. Developing a strong working relationship with an experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer is one key to success. Experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyers are underused now by most of us. They hold much valuable information that can serve us and our giving objectives. If we were all more diligent about our planning and made better use of an experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer, we would probably be able to give substantially more and see better results for our families, our communities, and our own peace of mind. Experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyers work for us and are engaged to serve us. Put an experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer to work for all you love.
Following are some questions an experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer will ask. By preparing your answers in advance, you may enable your Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer to serve you better.
• What do you want your legacy to be? What would you like your giving to say about who you are and what you believe?
• Have you considered ways to spark giving during your lifetime with your children or other family members?
• How much time do you want to devote to philanthropy? Do you know the services that we provide and what they cost? What role do you want an experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer to play in supporting your philanthropy?
• How much do you want to leave to the next generation and how do you want it distributed?
Here are some specific questions that you may want to ask an experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer. It is important to realize that these questions are not the stock in trade of estate planning. Many of them fall under the category of financial planning—that is, planning for what happens while you are alive. By raising these questions in an estate planning interview you signal quite properly that for you a legacy is to be lived as well as left. You are not all about death. You want to make an impact while alive. These questions help provide the right framework for the discussion with your experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer. If you are asking these questions of an estate tax attorney, she or he may refer you to an experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer to get certain of your questions answered. Planning is generally a team effort.
• Can I afford to be more generous now? Can I afford to be more generous later? What about at death? How are you calculating that?
• What amount of money can I afford to give annually and at the time of my death that would best minimize taxes, help my favorite causes, and still get the right amount of money to my heirs?
• Can you provide estimates early in the year as well as a year-end figure for the maximum dollar amount I will be able to give to nonprofits before I have given so much that I can no longer get a current income tax deduction?
• I am considering a donor-advised fund, a supporting foundation, or a private foundation for my giving. What are the pros and cons of giving through different vehicles? Which ones might work best for me given my income, goals, and asset structure?
• Can you help me establish charitable legacy or estate gifts that will benefit my community, my family, and my friends? Are you reasonably expert in this area, or is someone in your firm a specialist?
• Would it work better for my tax picture if I gave appreciated stock instead of writing a check?
• Are there legacy strategies such as buying insurance to cover multiyear pledges or other trusts or funding vehicles that I should consider now?
• I’d like to help pay for my grandchildren’s education. What’s the best way to do that?
• Do you have experience working with a team of advisers who can help integrate financial, tax, estate, and philanthropic planning? How do you and others on the team get clear about my philanthropic aspirations? Are you comfortable talking about my ideals and how to actualize them? If not, can you refer me to a potential member of the team who is passionate and informed in this area?
• How do you feel about socially responsible or green investments? Can you or someone on the team support my interest in this area of investing?
• I want my ideals to drive the planning process. I am also determined to have real impact on the causes I support. Are you willing and able to help me with the due diligence that will be needed to monitor my mission-based investments? If not, can you recommend someone else to add to this planning team?
The wonderful thing about having a trusted financial experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer or team is that, if they are the right fit for you, they are likely to provide you with guidance and resources on how to manifest many of your dreams. Communication is key. We all know from our personal and business lives that good communication is a two-way street. Good communication takes an effort on both sides. Husband and wife, partners and friends, clients and attorneys, need to work at eliciting and fulfilling your goals, objectives, and aspirations in a spirit of mutual respect and common purpose.
Don’t play the blame game or fall silent in frustration. Estate planning at its core is far removed from the languages of tax and law. Attorneys are lucky to have clients like you. As a truly engaged giver, you are the exception to the rule. So to get the outcomes you need and deserve, you are the one who must come forward to guide the conversation toward the language of love and social benefit. Once you do, and an experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer hear you, the whole tenor of the engagement changes and you work with advisers as partners in a noble effort. You lead on ideals. The advisers will follow with the tools and techniques. An inspired legacy starts with an inspired legacy lead partner—that will be you. You speak up for what is good and right.
Woods Cross Utah probate lawyers want to do the right thing. They want you as a satisfied client who speaks well of them. They will meet you on higher ground, putting their skills to work on behalf of your highest purposes, if you provide clarity, good data, and leadership. There are some things that you truly cannot delegate. If you want the best results and an inspired legacy, then your focus for several key hours is essential. This is important work to prioritize for those you love.
Remember that as with surgeons, bedside manner is important but is not the whole job. You are hiring an experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer to be technically competent. As long as you have at least one adviser on your team with whom you can communicate at a deep level, others can be hired for their technical skills, as long as you or your most trusted adviser – your experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer succeeds in building a good, strong working team on your behalf.
Establish an estate planning device now, before the end is so near that planning becomes burdensome. You will be considering your family, friends, and close ones. Then take a few minutes to decide whether you wish to engage an experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer to help you pull the pieces together so that you leave the legacy of love that inspires you. This is, after all, your legacy, and these choices are yours to decide. Sometimes talking with someone about your intentions and fleshing out the details that will appear in your will or estate plan can lead to greater impact. Many a technically competent estate plan would be even better if it was drafted by an experienced Woods Cross Utah probate lawyer to spearhead your highest priorities, beyond money and taxes.
Woods Cross Utah Probate Attorney Free Consultation
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506