All your life, you’ve worked hard. You’ve built the life that you enjoy through your own sweat and dedication, and you’re proud of everything you have: Your family, your home, and your financial wealth. These are great accomplishments. And now, as you grow older, you start to think about sharing these accomplishments with the people who matter most to you. You’ve been generous, but you now have an opportunity to pass on even more of what you’ve earned and leave a legacy that will last for generations. You can’t live forever, but you can leave behind a monument to your accomplishments and to the love that you have for the people to whom you want to leave your wealth and possessions.
But this is all easier said than done. Unfortunately, there are obstacles to your legacy. There is paperwork to be done and legal hoops to jump through. And if you are trying to leave behind an estate of a certain size, there is another major issue, experts explain: Inheritance tax.
Preparing for what comes after
You want the best for your loved ones, and you want them to get as much of what you’ve worked so hard to earn as is possible. To do that, you’ll need to prepare. This starts with thinking about the people themselves: They love you, and they will be distraught when you pass away.
With that in mind, you should strongly consider making plans for your own end-of-life services. Do you want a funeral? Will you be buried, and if so, where? Making these plans now will leave less for your loved ones to do when the time comes. And you can make sure that they have less to pay for, too: You can purchase things like coffins and burial plots ahead of time to ensure that things are as easy as possible for the people you care the most about.
There will still be chores for them, of course. Among other things, they’ll have to work out your estate. But you can make that much easier, too — and can maximize the size of that estate in the process.
How to prepare your estate
Your estate is what you’ll leave behind to your heirs, but how much your heirs get will depend on the law — and on how well you’ve structured your estate to account for it. The good news for your estate is that North Carolina does not have an estate tax; the bad news is that there is an estate tax written into federal law.
But, like all taxes, there are complexities, say experts in inheritance tax NC. Just as you would set up a business or fill out a personal tax form in such a way as to legally minimize your tax burden, so should you structure your estate in such a way as to minimize that burden.
There are several legal tools for this task, among which trusts loom large. You may also find that converting assets into other forms or providing for a quick sale of a home or other real estate property can be a wise way to minimize tax burdens.
Of course, it’s not that you will be figuring any of this out alone. In fact, that would be a terrible idea. Unless you’ve built your fortune and your career in the world of wills and estates law, then you probably shouldn’t be winging it when it comes to setting down your will and minimizing your inheritance tax burden. What you should do is hire a lawyer who specializes in exactly this sort of thing.
A great lawyer will help you structure your estate and to set down your wishes, plans, and will in an organized fashion that will give your heirs as easy a process as is possible at a difficult time. When you’ve worked with an attorney to set things up properly, you won’t have to worry that your legacy is unprotected in North Carolina.
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