When a person dies with an estate plan that was well-drafted and kept up to date, the results are often uneventful and as the decedent wished. The property is transferred or if it is in a trust, the successor trustee takes over and handles the particulars of the operation of the trust. This all should proceed smoothly, allowing the family the time to grieve and minimizing the stress of dealing with the intricacies of probate law.
Doing business means you enter into contracts regularly. You purchase services and supplies from vendors. You hire workers, employees, and contractors. You may offer products and supplies to others. Day-to-day business requires regular contractual agreements.
The incoming Trump administration has a made a goal of ending the federal estate tax. You may think this simplifies estate planning or makes it unnecessary. In reality, only about 2 percent of estates are ever subject to the federal estate tax, so for most individuals, the presence of that tax has never been much of a concern.
Estate planning is often looked at as being somewhat dull. Wills, trusts, powers of attorney can all seem unexciting. For one, much of these instruments are concerned with the future. Some, like a will, only becomes effective upon one's death and no one really wants to spend much time thinking on that subject. It also can be changed at any time by an individual and may seem both fixed and transitory. But an estate plan should not be seen as a stack of static documents gathering dust in an attorney's office.
Estate planning is one of those things most people know they should do, but like many things, they often put it off, believing that it is not the highest priority today. They may have other obligations and a busy life, and sometimes just putting together dinner and making sure the kids get to their activities may be about all they can handle after work.