What is an Estate Planning Worksheet for Married People?
Being married may benefit your estate but it can also complicate the paperwork. Help keep things simple with an Estate Planning Worksheet. When you and your spouse are planning your estate you could probably use some guidance. Is more complex estate planning in order? What are the possible issues? Maybe you're preparing to meet with a tax, financial, or legal advisor. It's a good idea to get as organized as possible. Ensuring you're able to take care of everyone you need to is a big job but a little planning now can help make the process easier. Our worksheet can provide a simple and easy Estate Planning Checklist to help get the conversation started.
When to use a Married Estate Planning Worksheet:
- You and your spouse are getting ready to prepare a will or trust.
- You and your spouse are figuring out the size of your estate.
- You need to find out if more complex planning is in order.
- You and your spouse are preparing to meet with a professional about estate planning.
ESTATE PLANNING WORKSHEET
. PERSONAL INFORMATION: The person preparing the Will needs to know some personal information about you, including your marital status and whether you have children.
Marital Status: I am married.
. THE VALUE OF YOUR ESTATE: The value of estate assets is needed to determine whether "estate taxes" may be an important consideration in the preparation of a will (or living trust). Although federal estate taxes are not usually a factor in estates of less than $5,120,000 as of 2012, it may become important to consider more complex estate planning techniques in estates of $4,000,000 which could grow to those levels. The manner in which assets are held (e.g., "jointly" or "in one name only") is also important in determining who will receive certain property (i.e., generally, "joint" property goes to the "surviving" joint tenant regardless of what the will may provide).
|Other Real Estate
|Personal Res. Mtg.
|Other Loans & Debts
. DISTRIBUTION OF THE ESTATE ASSETS: The persons or organizations (beneficiaries) who will receive the assets of the estate must be identified.
First Choice:(The Guardian cares for the "person," while the Trustee manages the property of the minor.)
. EXECUTOR: An executor is the person or organization named in a Will who has the responsibility to carry out the terms of the Will (i.e., collect the assets, pay the debts, and distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries). In some states, the executor is also known as a "personal representative".
|- "Living trust" -- a trust created during a person's lifetime that can act as a Will substitute.
|- "Marital deduction" -- a tax law provision that allows an unlimited amount to be distributed under a Will (or Living Trust) to a spouse, without being subject to federal estate taxes.
|- "Credit trust" -- a trust created under a Will (or as part of a Living Trust) that allows a married couple to maximize the amount of estate assets that will not be subject to federal estate taxes.
|- "Marital trust" -- a trust created under a Will (or as part of a Living Trust) that provides support for a surviving spouse and can also specify how the marital trust assets should be distributed after the spouse's death.
|- "Generation skipping transfer tax" -- a tax on transfers to grandchildren and other "skip persons" after the aggregate amount of such gifts and bequests exceeds $5,000,000 in 2012 or $1,000,000 after 2012.
|- "Irrevocable life insurance trust" -- a mechanism for owning life insurance policies so that the death benefits payable on the policies are not subject to federal estate tax.
|- "Charitable trust" -- a trust that provides income or other benefits to a charitable organization, and also provides income tax and estate tax advantages to the person who contributes assets to the trust.