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Leach & Sullivan

How estate planning helps everyday people

| Nov 12, 2020 | blog

Many Oklahoma families and heads of households have significantly large assets worthy of legal protection via an estate plan. While those who own large homes, have big families and possess lots of financial assets have an obvious need for the protections that estate planning provides, so do people who are just starting a family and have long working careers ahead of them. A lifetime of hard-earned assets, including retirement accounts, homes and any vehicles you may accrue over time, all are subject to potential protection via estate planning.

How an estate plan works

The general objectives of effective estate planning are to protect your assets while you are living, reduce your tax burden and ensure a legacy for your intended heirs. A will is an obvious tool used in all good estate plans to clearly identify who gets what assets and ease the dispersal of your belongings after your death. One or more trusts can take possession of some of your more significant assets and protect them while also reducing your total wealth amount and tax burden. If you become incapacitated due to an accident, an illness or some other unfortunate cause, a living trust can help to ensure that your basic financial needs are covered while continuing to protect your assets.

What executors and trustees do

When you create a will, an executor can oversee its final implementation regarding the settling of your estate’s debts and the dispersal of assets to heirs and other beneficiaries as you legally intended. A trustee is someone named to control a trust and ensure its terms are followed when distributions are made. Trusts also can take legal possession of property titles and other assets to reduce your total taxable wealth. Executors and trustees often are family members or attorneys trusted by the benefactor.

Whether you are just starting a career and family or already have both well-established, an experienced estate planning attorney can help review your assets and examine ways to protect them.