Estate Planning Services
Your estate includes more than you might think it does. Estates include any real estate, vehicles, life insurance policies, and literally any tangible items a person could own. It also includes any money that is left in bank accounts. Whether you have a small estate that you want to pass on to a spouse or child, or you have a large, complex estate that will be divided among many, your estate is still subject to probate and taxation. Chandler & Knowles CPAs offers estate planning solutions that helps you to maximize income and minimize taxes and risk for you and your beneficiaries.
Unless a trust is properly set up to protect your assets, your estate will be subject to probate before it can be passed on to beneficiaries. Probate is a legal process that is required to “prove “that your will is valid in a court of law. Before your estate can be turned over to your beneficiaries, a probate court must first decide that your will is valid before turning it over to the executor. In order to avoid probate, everything must be structured properly and put into an irrevocable trust. Some items, such as bank accounts, may also be designated “payable-on-death” so that they are directly transferred to beneficiaries without going through probate court and being subject to taxation. Probate typically costs between 5-7% of the total value of your estate.
Setting up Trusts
As part of our estate planning services, Chandler & Knowles CPAs can help you decide what type of trust is right for you and your family or business. Trusts have several benefits including not being subject to probate and protecting assets that will go to beneficiaries who are minors. Trusts can also be set up to disperse funds according to your specific criteria. For instance, you can specify that your child must graduate from college before receiving funds, or that funds should be slowly dispensed over time. Trusts can also be set up to allow you to continue to make regular payments to charities or institutions over time. Trusts can reduce or eliminate estate and gift taxes and protect your assets from creditors and lawsuits. They help to avoid family feuds and added stress after you’re gone. Trusts can also be arranged to plan for the possibility of incapacitation. If you become disabled or ill, and are unable to manage finances, you can designate someone to be in charge of your trust.
Estate Tax Planning
Even though trusts may be directly passed on to their beneficiaries and bypass probate, they are still subject to taxation. If the funds of the trust are dispersed slowly over time, the beneficiary will have to pay income taxes on these funds. The trust itself is also susceptible to taxes on capital gains. Estate tax laws are constantly changing and vary from state to state. Our CPAs help with estate tax planning so that you can minimize taxation for your trust and your beneficiaries.
Let Chandler & Knowles CPAs Help with Your Estate Planning
Get the most you can to your loved ones after you’re gone, and protect your assets from unnecessary taxation. Contact us at (817) 430-3000 to learn more about our estate planning services, or set up an appointment to meet with one of our CPAs at our office in Flower Mound.
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