Taxes and death. The only two things that Benjamin Franklin said we should be certain of are also two of the most difficult things to talk about with family and friends. Trust and Estate tax planning include consideration of how the latter affects the former, in addition to a host of other considerations, including taxation. The best time to answer a few important questions about estate planning is always now; so unless you intend to live forever, now is a good time to start preparing…
I’m young or in good health. Do I really need a will or estate plan?
Yes. It’s been shown that 55% of Americans die leaving neither a will or estate plan. Everyone expects to die some day. But too few prepare for it in a way that helps their family, and reduce the tax burden on the estate or trust.
I already have a will that describes what will happen with my IRAs and other retirement accounts. Is that enough?
It might be enough for your IRAs but the law can be tricky and situational. The best bet to avoid causing loved ones a hassle is prevention. You may wish to change your beneficiary designation in your IRA agreement. Perhaps it can be updated to reflect your most up to date will. An IRA passes to the beneficiary listed if there’s a conflict with the will.
Do I need an Advance Directive or Power of Attorney?
It’s very crucial to set up both of these. The Advance Directive may be essential regarding medical decisions you are no longer able to make. A power of attorney is a crucial document to execute as it denotes who will be able to manage your finances. Professional accounting firms like Business & Financial Solutions can help you with this. Though we have offices in the Washington DC area such as Rockville MD, we have found that it’s not just clients in busy metropolitan areas who want expert advice on their estate and trust planning, accounting and taxation.
Do I need to work with a CPA?
You need to work with someone who is qualified to understand your entire financial situation. That may be a CPA, an Enrolled Agent, or someone else who has real financial and accounting experience and training. It’s possible that their certifications and background will be entirely different than a CPA’s but what matters most is that they take a meticulous and holistic approach to your financial situation like the experts at BFS do. Knowing what you don’t know is perhaps the greatest wisdom. Work with qualified advisors.
Most states let you maintain what is known as a durable power of attorney which will remain valid until your death. However, it is still wise to regularly meet with your attorney, accountant and other professionals regarding your POA.
We have a full staff of CPAs, consultants, accountants and tax preparers eager to assist with estate planning. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will show you how to square away your finances for you or your company so you can stop worrying about end of life planning and start fully living. may also call us at 855-557-2222 for additional information or help with your bookkeeping, accounting, and tax preparation needs.
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