Passing on assets requires careful estate planning
In addition to taking care of family members after death, Nevada residents often try to avoid the necessity of paying estate taxes. Doing so could give heirs and beneficiaries the maximum benefit from any assets left to them. Careful estate planning may help accomplish both of these goals.
Many Nevada couples use trusts in order to limit — or eliminate — estate taxes. Currently, federal law allows an individual to pass on up to $5.43 million worth of assets free from federal estate taxes. That means that a married couple pass on a total of $10.86 million.
The IRS gives married couples an advantage of which they should avail themselves if possible. When one spouse dies, any of the federal exemption that is not used in the distribution of that party’s estate can subsequently be applied to the estate of the surviving spouse. This increases the amount that the second spouse can pass on to heirs and beneficiaries after death.
In addition, trusts offer other advantages. The assets held by them will not need to go through probate, which means that there does not need to be much delay in their distribution. Further, couples retain control over how the assets will be distributed and when.
Estate planning may not be at the top of everyone’s list since it requires people to contemplate their own demise. However, it is an essential task — especially for people who have accumulated a substantial amount of wealth. Without it, a person’s assets may not end up going to the right parties, and estate taxes could make a sizable dent in any inheritance received.
Source: USA Today, “Your estate plan: Be aware of new laws“, Joseph A. Clark, Sept. 13, 2015