One memoir by the mother of a child with special needs likened the experience to planning a trip to France and going to Italy instead. Anyone with a family member with special needs can report that the point of this statement is true: It may be surprising, but it is still magical.
People may put off making an estate plan for a lot of reasons. They may feel they're too early in life, or they may assume their plans are so simple that they inevitably work in probate. But, just like there is always a reason to avoid estate planning, there is always a good reason for adults to address the subject as soon and as often as possible.
Most of our financial advice in early life comes from older family members. They have been around longer and we begin life trusting them and listening to them. So it can feel awkward when the tables are turned and it may be time for elders to require our advice.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 increased the tax exclusion for gifts made during a person's life as well as estates left after death. People can give up to $11.4 million in property value, assets or other objects of value without having taxes assessed on their estate. Many observers believe this exemption may not last past 2025, which means the clock may be ticking.
Estate planning is an important task that many people spend most of their life ignoring. End of life affairs are always difficult to approach because of the logistics and the emotions involved, and some people may be inclined to do as little as possible. But estate planning is something that has broad implications -- it isn't just about "who gets what."
Estate planning is mostly more complicated as people deal with larger estates with diverse assets that will be shared with multiple beneficiaries. Many wealthy people plan their wills and trusts to save money for their heirs that would otherwise be consumed by government taxes.
Fewer than 20 percent of divorced people remarry, but more than half of divorcees aged 55 years or more retie the knot. Most people are more cautious when stepping down the aisle for the second or third time, but some still make mistakes like providing for people in their families. A new marriage without proper estate planning may cause financial problems for children and others from previous marriages.
The first part of the estate planning process that most people would mention is a last will and testament. A will is the most fundamental part of a good estate plan, but it is certainly not the only part. People will all levels of wealth and various assets should be ready to put their relatives and partners at ease with a proper plan.
Estate planning sounds like it only applies to people with large fortunes or complicated assets, but anyone who wants their descendants to have an easier time sorting out who gets what. There are several restrictions and taxes on how Connecticutians can dispose of their assets and properties after death, but most apply to the higher echelon of owners and earners.
A lot of people wait until their golden years to make a solid plan for their estate after death. Many parents start to think about it once they have seen their child grow. But no time is too early for estate planning. Estate planning is so much more than deciding who gets your things.