5 Advantages To Planning Your Estate During Tax Season
Tax day is right around the corner, which means spring flowers aren't far behind. The deadline for this year's taxes is April 18 and we like to think of it as a great time to visit your Estate Planning needs.
Your Estate Plan is designed to help you determine the "who, what and when" of your assets. In today's digital world it's not only important for you to plan for your traditional assets like finances and personal property, but it's also important you consider your digital assets as well. Your digital assets include all the things you create on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, which seem to be growing by the minute.
Many people are under the impression that creating an Estate Plan is a “set and forget it” type task. I’d challenge you to think about it more like checking the smoke detectors every year at daylight savings time. It’s best to check it yearly and catch any issues before they become a real problem. A lot can change in a year such as the birth of a new baby, a marriage, or the loss of a loved one. Each of these life events can have an impact on the way you designed your plans initially.
Arguably, more importantly, keeping your Estate Plan up to date can potentially save you some money too. Your taxes and Estate Plan eventually become intertwined if they aren’t already so there is some benefit to reviewing them at the same time.
Here are 5 advantages you may not have considered when planning for your Estate during tax season.
5 Advantages to Planning for your Estate During Tax Season:
1. You've already collected your documents
If you are like many people whose documents are stored in various places, collecting them once a year is much easier than having to do it multiple times. Furthermore, to make this even simpler next year, use our Digital Vault to privately secure your documents so you never have to go searching for them again.
2. Your finances are top of mind
It’s no surprise that finances are a part of the Estate Planning conversation, just like they are at tax time. Make it easy on yourself by checking these two boxes at the same time.
3. Reduce tax liabilities for the upcoming year
Your tax specialist can help you work through the strategy that is right for you but some things like maximizing employee benefits or deducting the interest on your student loans may help you decrease your tax liability. Every penny you can save today is one more penny your family will have access to in the future.
4. It's a great time to consider charitable planning
Estate Planning often involves planning for the future, but also it results in looking back on life. Consider ways that you might want to give back either now, or after you’ve passed away. I consider this a win-win because charitable giving may decrease your tax liability and you can leave behind a legacy you are proud of.
5. If you are a beneficiary, you can protect your inheritance from unnecessary taxes in the upcoming year
In general, inheritances are not taxed because it is not considered to be income. However, depending on how you use your inheritance there can be taxes associated with it. To further understand the rules around this topic please visit this article from TurboTax.
How to Plan for my Estate
Peace of mind is right around the corner, next to those spring flowers. Although it may sound daunting to plan for your Estate, I assure you it doesn't have to be that way.
Historically, Estate Planning required you to make an appointment, drive to the nearest attorney’s office and reveal your entire life’s assets to a stranger. This uncomfortable situation is likely why online Estate Planning tools, like those at GoodTrust, have become increasingly popular. In about 15 minutes you can easily create your personalized, legally-binding Will without leaving your home. If you’d like to take it a step further, an entire suite of Estate Planning tools is available including Power of Attorney, Health Care Directives, Funeral Directives, and our newest addition the Pet Directive.
All of our tools were developed in consultation with top legal experts and can be customized to address your specific needs. As always, if your needs are outside of the scope of what we offer, please contact a qualified estate planning attorney.
If you are ready to be sure your family is protected by creating your estate plan during this tax season, click here to get started. As always, we're here for you along the way.