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Estate Planning: The Perfect Gift for the Holiday Season

As families gather for the holidays, it is traditional to offer gifts and celebrate the season together.  If you are trying to think of the perfect gift for your family this year, you might consider making an estate plan or taking other generous steps.  When you make a simple estate plan you ensure your family’s future and well-being, and that is a gift that will keep giving for many years.

Create a Trust: A Current Gift that Has a Future Benefit
If you make a trust today, that is a current gift that is stewarded for the future by the trustee. The trust can name one or more beneficiaries and can contain any type of asset. If you have minor children, the trust can provide for support and name a guardian, giving everyone peace of mind.

Set Up a Family Foundation to Support Charity
Another step to take that your family can be a part of is a family foundation, that manages funds for your favorite charities. This is something the whole family can be a part of, by selecting charities and deciding how to make gifts.

Family Discussion About Personal Effects, Valuables, and Heirlooms
Depending on the age of your family members, the holidays can be the perfect time to talk about unique or sentimental property, and what preferences there might be. Then when you make your estate plan, you can designate those items for each heir, or you could even give them as gifts now for the holiday.

Encourage Adult Children to Make Their Own Estate Plan
Another gift that you can make is to offer to help your adult children to make their own estate plan and even to fund the cost. Sometimes younger adults don’t think about estate planning, but at a minimum, they should have an advance health care directive, which is essential for unexpected illness or injury.

Cash Gifts
You may also want to take advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion of $15,000 per family member, which is free from any gift tax. So, instead of leaving all of your resources in your estate, you can start to distribute it while you are alive. This can also help your estate tax planning also by lowering the overall value of your estate.

If you have questions about giving the gift of estate planning this holiday season, please contact the attorneys at Shoup Legal, A Professional Law Corporation, at 951-445-4114 or www.ShoupLegal.com.

Written by Andrea Shoup

Shoup Legal, A Professional Law Corporation can be reached at (951) 445-4114.

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