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High-value assets require pointed estate planning

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Probate & Estate Planning |

People who have amassed considerable assets and those who have small businesses need to ensure they have an estate plan that accurately and legally relays their wishes regarding these concerns. With that said, creating a comprehensive estate plan is often a complex undertaking in these cases.

As such, if you are in a position wherein you need to plan for high-value assets or a business during your estate planning process, it’s important to devote necessary time and resources to safeguarding your needs effectively. It may not be a straightforward process, but it is a worthwhile one.

End-of-life planning

Planning for what will happen if you become incapacitated is critical because your assets likely can’t go unmanaged. You have to set someone as the financial power of attorney so they can handle everything related to your finances for you. This includes taking care of upkeep on assets, paying bills, managing investments and anything else related to your money. On top of that, you need someone to make medical decisions for you. This person is given the designation of healthcare power of attorney.

Asset distribution

You have three options for distributing your assets. You can give them away before you pass away, but there are often tax considerations for this. You may opt to name them in your will and designate recipients, but this becomes a public record during the probate process. You may set up trusts to pass down these assets, but you’ll have to determine what specific type is most appropriate.

If you’re a business owner, you also need to address your company in your plan. You’ll need to craft a succession plan for it if you want it to continue operating after you pass away. Choosing a successor who understands the company is beneficial, so you may want to choose someone and train them about the inner workings while you can.

Because high-asset estate plans can be rather complex, it’s a good idea to work with a legal representative who can explain the options for each asset and help you to understand how they will affect your beneficiaries. Once you get an initial estate plan set, remember that you need to review it if you have any major life changes to better ensure that it reflects your wishes as your circumstances evolve.