A Guide for Wills and Estate Planning 

estate planning

You have spent a lifetime making careful financial decisions and saving your money so that you can secure your future, as well as the future of your loved ones. No one wants to leave behind a burden when it comes to ensuring that your family members, friends, and charities are properly provided.  Also, this means that your last wishes are executed without headaches, and this is all possible with smart estate planning 

The Basics of Estate Planning and Wills 

Estate planning entails determining how all your assets will be preserved, managed, and distributed after you pass away. However, it entails much more than a simple will or a generalized understanding that your next of kin will be the beneficiaries of what you have accumulated throughout a lifetime. 

In fact, several factors and attributes go into estate planning and writing a will, which can include the following: 

  • Minimizing the estate taxes that must be paid by loved ones by setting up trust accounts, or by taking other measures. 
  • Establishing a guardian to take care of any living dependents. 
  • Naming an executor for your estate who will be responsible for following the directions in the will. 
  • Updating, creating, or reviewing the beneficiaries on your financial plans and accounts, such as life insurance policies, IRAs, and 401(k)s. 
  • Outlining funeral arrangements. 
  • Establishing annual or one-time gifts to charitable and non-profit organizations, (which also helps to minimize estate taxes). 
  • Setting up a power of attorney (POA) to be responsible for other assets and investments. 

In addition, when it comes to estate planning and creating a will, it’s essential to remember that your assets do not simply entail your bank accounts, home, or other obvious real or financial properties. Your estate is a collection of value, from artworks to stocks and vehicles to retirement accounts. Therefore, it’s essential that all of this property is accounted for so that there is no confusion or missed opportunities along the way to provide for your loved ones as much as possible.  

Tax Changes for 2023 

If you have already created a will dictating the distribution of your assets and your preferred arrangements, then congratulations! You have already taken the first step in ensuring peace of mind for your loved ones. With that in mind, however, it’s important to note that tax laws are always changing and evolving, and this is true in all financial matters, which include estate planning. 

In fact, starting in 2023, individuals can protect more assets from federal estate taxes, as they can transfer up to $12.92 million to heirs. Additionally, this will be possible without triggering a federal estate-tax bill, which is a notable increase from 2022’s limit of $12.06 million. Furthermore, there is also a higher annual limit on tax-free gifts. Beginning in 2023, individuals can give away $17,000 per recipient without impacting their $12.92 million lifetime exclusion.  That is an increase from 2022’s $16,000 limit. 

However, keep in mind that these above changes may be temporary. The estate-tax exclusion has roughly doubled since a signature federal tax overhaul in 2017. Moreover, without further action from Congress, these estate tax exclusions may drop after 2025.  

Now is an Ideal Time for Estate Planning 

Between inflation and revised tax laws, 2023 should be the year that you take a second look at your end-of-life plans. This will ensure that you are taking advantage of all the financial opportunities that will take care of your loved ones for years to come. 

What’s the next step? Connect with an experienced and knowledgeable financial advisor 

Estate planning involves much more than writing a will and hoping it sticks. Also, one of the best ways to protect your assets and create a safe future for your loved ones is to connect with a professional financial advisor. 

A well-thought-out strategy will go a long way in reducing your loved one’s stress during an already stressful time. Therefore, at Saddock Advisory, our financial advisors can identify any potential pitfalls that could cause roadblocks and unforeseen hurdles along the way. In addition, by reducing your exposure to income taxes and estate taxes, your lifetime assets can pass to your beneficiaries intact. You will leave behind a legacy that will be appreciated for decades.  

Saddock Advisory Can Help You with All Your Estate Planning Needs  

2023 is the ideal time to start or review your estate planning strategies, and Saddock Advisory is here to help. Our team of experts knows the ins and outs of even the most complicated estate tax laws and situations. Lastly, you can rest assured that your loved ones will be provided for, no matter what the future brings.  

Contact us today.  

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