If you have high-value assets, you may be concerned about what will happen to them upon your death. Most people want to pass on their hard work and good fortune to their loved ones. Here are four steps that position your assets, so they may be passed down to your loved ones, or whoever you choose.
- Make a will. The first step in ensuring your family receives your assets is to make a will. Your will documents who you would like to receive which assets.
- Name a beneficiary. Name one or multiple beneficiaries for your will, trust(s), or life insurance policy. Make sure you include all of your assets when naming beneficiaries.
- Set up a trust fund. A trust fund is usually a combination of stocks, bonds, cash, real estate, business holdings, paintings, cars, antiques, or other assets. It combines one or more of these assets into a single document for a beneficiary. A will explains how you want your assets distributed and a trust fund ensures that they are distributed according to your wishes.
- Gift your money. One of the easiest ways to ensure your money goes to the person of your choosing is to simply give it to them. The IRS allows gifts of up to $14,000 per person per year. Gifting your money allows you to give money to your loved ones, tax-free before you die.
Upon your death, your beneficiaries may be required to pay inheritance taxes. Gifting your money before you die is tax-exempt. If you have high-value assets or significant wealth, gifting money before you die combined with setting up trust funds may be the best option to reduce tax and ensure your loved ones get the most out of your estate.