What We Need to Know
At this time many of us tend to review the past year, to learn from it, and ensure that we are prepared for the new coming year. I thought that a checklist would help in the estate planning realm:
Do you know what you own?
- Where is it located? What is the contact information for where the asset is held?
- What is it worth today?
Clients called a couple weeks ago. We have been working together for two years, to probate their late father’s estate in the U.S. They discovered three additional pieces of real estate that he owned, so we will have to start the process as to those properties as well now. He passed away in 2012. Apparently his papers were not in any order that enabled them to make sense of it all.
It is important to know what you own and keep a list, or a stack of relevant papers about it either in a pile in a safe place or online in a safe place.
When do you need to do estate planning?
- If you reside in Israel and do not have an Israeli Will – to make sure your Israeli wealth (all assets and accounts) go to your loved ones in the way you wish them to.
- If you have minor children – to avoid guardianship (costly, heavily supervised by a court and bureaucratically burdensome).
- If you own any US assets other than retirement plans and life insurance – to avoid probate (costly, prolonged).
- If you are married and only one of you is a U.S. citizen – complex tax issues.
- If you have a high net worth – to reduce exposure to U.S. estate taxation.
What is estate planning?
A financial and legal process involving decisions about who you want to inherit from you, to care for you if you can no longer do so, who will raise your minor children and who will pay their bills and invest their money until they can. Yes, these are hard questions. Most of us do not want to ask them. But then again, most of us do not want to look back at the past year and admit where we need improvement either. Despite this, we do so annually. We need to put our financial affairs in order only once every five years. Now is the time.
It is important to get this done, and so many of us educated, successful, busy people – do not. We put it off. I hope that my message is clear – just do it. Whether you engage my services or those of many other competent estate planners worldwide, now is the time.
Experienced US Estate Planning Attorney Felicia M. Seaton will help you safeguard your family’s best interests while enduring difficult times. She can help you formulate & implement a comprehensive plan to give you peace of mind. Contact her today click here or call 0526182582/US: 3028923336