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Plan ahead to reduce the burden on your loved ones

When you are thinking about your estate, one of the goals that you have is to reduce the burden that falls on your loved ones when you are gone. There are several ways to do this, so think carefully about what you want to do with your estate plan.

There are several things for you to think about that go far beyond the will and trusts. Here are some ways that you can minimize what your family members have to deal with when you are gone.

Reduce the size of your estate

Estate taxes can quickly eat away at what your loved ones have when you are gone. One way that you can reduce the amount of money that the government is going to take from them is to reduce the size of your estate. There are minimum value requirements that must be met before the estate tax comes into the picture, so find out how this will impact your case.

You can give away money and assets to family members and friends to help get your estate down to below the minimum requirements. You can give away $14,000 per person per year to reduce your estate size. This means that if you give things away to 20 people in one year, you can bring your estate down by $280,000 that year.

Make your funeral plans now

Another thing that you can do while you are alive is to make your funeral plans. This doesn't mean that you have to pay for everything right now, but you can write out your plans and find a funeral home that will work with your loved ones to make your wishes happen.

When you make these plans, think about every aspect of what you want to happen. Here are some of the questions you can think about.

  • Do you want to be cremated or embalmed?
  • Do you want a viewing?
  • Do you want to be buried?
  • What type or color of casket or urn do you want?
  • How many days do you want the funeral to last?
  • Would you rather have a memorial instead of a funeral?
  • Do you want people to wear formal clothing or casual clothing?

The more of these plans that you make now, the less your family members will have to do when they are grieving your loss. This can make the situation much easier on them, especially if they don't have to deal with estate taxes and trying to make your final arrangements.

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