Increasing the Estate You’ll Leave to Your Heirs (and Doing so Safely)
Most of our estate planning clients tend to want to leave as much to their heirs as possible. It’s a matter of pride (“I did well enough in my life that I’m able to leave my kids a nice chunk of change”) as well as a desire to take care of their loved ones after they pass.
If you’re retired and know that your own financial needs will be taken care of as you age, read below for some ideas to discuss with your estate planning attorney as to how to increase the amount you’ll leave your heirs safely. What do we mean by safely? Increasing your estate without compromising your own financial well-being.
Talk to your attorney about a fixed indexed annuity with a death benefit order. Doing so means that whatever you have set aside for a child will never lower in value and will even increase by at least 4 percent and will include any indexed market gains.
You also can have a lifetime income rider on the fixed indexed annuity which will guarantee you income no matter how long you live. Check out the National Association of Fixed Annuities for more information (or contact us).
Your estate planning lawyer also may recommend a whole life policy. This can be very helpful especially if you’re still working and plan to do so for at least 5-15 years. (Don’t take out some existing retirement assets to fund the policy unless you and your attorney have calculated that your retirement funds won’t miss these monies.)
The beauty of these whole life policies lie in the fact that your heirs will receive a nice chunk of change if you die within the term of the policy. For example, if you fund a policy with $25K for 10 years (for a total of $200K), your starting death benefit to your heirs would be $310,000. If you don’t die within the term of the policy, you will get back the $200,000 in the form of a cash value.
Thus you’ve protected your family in the case you should die before you retire and you’ve protected your estate’s funds if you don’t.
If your estate planning attorney hasn’t already done so, consider putting together a trust. Trusts aren’t just for the super wealthy: they can help you reduce the estate and gift taxes for which your estate will be liable upon your death. A trust also lets you put conditions as to how – and even when – you want your assets distributed. Some trusts can also provide more protection for your assets from lawsuits and creditors. In short, a trust can help keep your estate safe after you’re gone.
An Experienced California Estate Planning Attorney
Louis Pacella and our team here have been helping people who live in and near Calabasas with their estate planning services for more than 10 years. Our goal is to protect you and the interests of your loved ones to the fullest extent. We’ll even come to your home!