by Brooks Mackintosh
Estate planning is not as easy as a one and done for most people. Here are some questions I get asked and what you need to know to make sure your estate plans keep time with what’s happening in your world:
How often should I update my will?
I recommended that you review your estate planning documents every three to five years to ensure they are consistent with your current intentions. It is important to revisit your choice of guardians for your minor children, as well as the agents you would want to make financial and health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated. If everything still looks good, no changes are needed.
Generally, new bank or investment accounts that you obtain are already accounted for in your will or trust provisions.
Children and grandchildren born after a will is made are included by language that refers to bequests made to one’s “descendants.” However, making bequests to specific children, grandchildren or others does require a revision of your will.
What about “death taxes?” Will my heirs be hit with a big tax bill?
Currently, Georgia does not have an estate or transfer tax.
Under the new tax law, Federal estate tax affects less than one-tenth of one percent of estates. Each individual has an exemption amount of $11.2 million; married couples can effectively double the exemption, shielding over $22 million from the estate tax.
There is actually an income tax benefit for inherited assets. If you inherit an investment account that contains stocks or mutual funds that have appreciated in value, or a rental property that has appreciated in value, you will never have to pay income taxes on that increase in value.
For more information, visit mackintosh.law.