You always have the option of leaving your possessions and money to anyone you want. But this process can be more complicated than people expect. Assets may be taxed, especially if they are left to people beyond the immediate family. Disputes may even arise between possible benefactors. How can you avoid these problems? Planning is the best option.
- How can I simplify the inheritance process?
In some cases, people can avoid disputes in probate court by converting assets into forms that are readily handed to others upon a previous owner’s death. These include living trusts, in which property may be given to another party in a revocable way, and payable-on-death accounts, which have a specific designated inheritor.
- What about real estate?
Property may be shared with a spouse or partner, and it will revert to their ownership if another owner dies. This is one of the simpler ways to transfer property upon death. Joint ownership or joint tenancy may also be a possibility that gives others rights to property.
- What if these are no longer possibilities?
One solution is to give away property and assets. Federal and state law in Connecticut gives certain allowances, usually annually, for possessions to be given away. Gifts structured in a certain way can preserve the value of bequests.
- How do I work these details out?
The best ally for proper estate planning is often a legal specialist who can work with people on the right way to protect and transfer assets. An attorney can help craft the right legal instruments to put property where you want it.