Voskuhl: Estate Planning Must Be A Priority
More than 50% of Americans think having an estate planning is at least somewhat important, but only 33% have a will or living trust. According to AARP’s Sen Voskuhl, estate planning is even more important for farmers as it decides the future of the farm. Without a good estate plan, he noted, farmers risk a lengthy process for your loved ones, who also may not agree with each other. He noted one the best estate planning options is creating a trust.
“When you pass away, the tax man isn't the only one who can take a bite out of the assets that you leave behind. Whether it is cash, real estate, retirement money or other funds, inherited assets can suddenly come up for grabs in a number of scenarios when creditors and others come calling. Establishing a trust is not only a key way to skip probate court, it can also prevent the assets you've spent a lifetime accumulating from going to predators who might slap your heirs with lawsuits.”
Voskuhl added its also important to title bank accounts and assets properly.
“If you own joint assets or name beneficiaries on your accounts and assets, a creditor cannot seize what you leave behind. Instead, the money will go directly to the whoever is listed on the accounts. But for the unsuspecting who haven't titled their assets properly, there are pitfalls. It’s best to talk to an expert to ensure your have done everything correctly during the estate planning process.”
If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-9791, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org