Estate Planning - What Things are Included in Your Estate?
No one really likes to think ahead to their death, but good financial planning will include all phases of life. Death is no exception, and since you can't take anything with you, and you likely have loved ones to share it with. It is smart to consider Estate Planning. This includes your assets which you have accumulated over the years, at the time of your death.
Your estate includes all of your assets, then taking away all of your debts or other possible financial obligations. So what kinds of things are included in your assets? Here are some common things.
1. Whatever you own, that is in your name. Things that fall into this category include your house or other real estate, bank accounts, life insurances, and investment assets.
2. Your part ownership in any business or partnership.
3. Whatever you own jointly with another person.
4. Whatever you own with a husband or wife, half of that can be included.
5. The property that you created in custodial accounts, and revocable trusts. Assuming you are the trustee or custodian.
6. If you are owed any money, that is included.
What things are Liabilities?
There are a few things that can reduce the value of your estate and it is just as important to know what those things are.
1. Any Outstanding Debts that you still have.
2. The costs of settling everything in the estate.
3. Any Taxes you owe.
These things will come off the total of one's assets to come up with the total. Once all figured out, it will be known if the heirs owe any federal estate taxes or not. There are state inheritance taxes as well that you may want to look into for your particular state.
By planning ahead, you not only will have made good decisions (hopefully) for your own life, but make decisions that will continue to benefit your family long after you are gone. That is a very thoughtful thing to do and may really help out your family. It won't replace you, but they will always know you cared about them to that degree that you cared to plan.