There’s an old-but-still-relevant saying: You can’t take it with you. Even though your physical possessions will not b going with you into your spiritual afterlife, you control where your property goes after you’re gone. It just takes a little estate planning.
Make Specific Requests In Your Arizona Will For Your Family Heirlooms
Your will is the classic way to make sure your stuff goes to the right people are you are gone. Maybe your family has an heirloom, like the McGonagle Family China. You don’t want to pass it to your daughter, because you know your Cousin Julie will take much better care of it. In your Will, you bequeath the china to Cousin Julie. You make sure the family china goes to a good home.
Sometimes giving a gift helps you, too. For example, let’s look at the annual and lifetime gift tax exclusions.
You can give an unlimited number of people the annual gift tax exclusion without incurring federal gift taxes. In 2018, the annual amount is $15,000 per person. So, you could give $15,000 each to your children, grandchildren, and family friends. And the gifts don’t have to be cash. You could give your son a $15,000 car, your daughter property worth $10,000 plus $5,000 cash, and your granddaughter $15,000 cash. No gift tax would be due.
The lifetime gift tax exemption is tied to the federal estate tax exemption. The amount of money you give away tax-free during your lifetime may be subtracted from the federal estate tax exemption when you pass away.
Still, gifting is a great way to make sure your cash and property go to the right people. Plus, you’ll get to see them enjoy the gifts.
Your financial accounts and insurance policies give you an option to name beneficiaries. After your death, funds in the financial accounts and payouts for insurance policies go directly to the named beneficiaries. If you don’t take advantage of this, the money will go to your estate. If you also haven’t left a Will, the money will pass to your heirs according to the laws of Arizona.
Make it easy for everyone – fill out those beneficiary designations! It’s fun to know where your money will go and imagine how much your beneficiaries will enjoy it.
It’s Your Call
Your will and other estate planning documents tell the world what to do with your stuff after you’re gone.
At Keystone Law Firm, Francisco Sirvent assists people with their legal questions every day. Check out our videos at keystonelawfirm.com. To schedule an appointment, call us at (480) 418-8448. We offer services for clients throughout Arizona, including Chandler, Gilbert, Sun Lakes, Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Apache Junction.