Q:

How does my estate plan make things easier for my family?

A:

Estate planning makes things easier for your family by leaving a detailed set of instructions and documents in place that make it possible for them to provide for you during incapacity or to transfer your assets at your death without necessarily involving the courts through the probate process. Now, there’s nothing wrong with probate. Probate works every single time. It is a consistent, but, one-size-fits-all plan. It may not be what you want. When you do the thinking, beforehand, your family is better off.

Note: The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 signed into law in December 2017 increased the exemption amounts mentioned in these videos. The personal estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax lifetime exemption was increased to $11.18 million per person. The annual gift tax exclusion was increased to $15,000 per donee per year.

Both amounts are indexed for inflation and may increase year over year until December 31, 2025, when the law sunsets and reverts to 2017 values.