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Denise Schoenherr, DBA, Full-Time Faculty Kaplan University
To provide for the financial needs of your family upon your
death, you need to have a plan in place for the distribution of your assets.
This is called estate planning. The objective of estate planning is to ensure
the orderly transfer of as much of your estate as possible to heir and/or
designated beneficiaries. It does not matter how small or large your estate,
you will need to plan for the distribution of its assets.
Estate planning will
ensure that your final wishes are carried out, distribute your assets, and
minimize taxes for your heirs.
If there are minor children it is especially important that
you designate a guardian for them; someone who will raise them in the same
manner as you would. If you pass and have not designated a guardian, the courts
will appoint someone who could be an individual that you would not particularly choose. You do
not want your children to suffer more hardship than they will already
experience upon your death.
If an estate plan is not in place, all your assets will have
to go into probate court. The courts would then decide who gets your assets and,
depending on the size of the estate, the cost to your heirs could be quite
large. Probate costs can be anywhere
between 2 and 5% of the estate value. Since this could take time, your heirs
may have to use their money to cover the cost of closing your estate because of
the delay in the settlement.
federal and state governments have their hands out for their portion of an
estate. Without a proper estate plan and a will, the government could take a
large portion of the assets you built over a lifetime. There are four major
taxes that must be considered: estate taxes, estate and trust federal income
taxes, inheritance taxes, and gift taxes.
federal government levies an estate tax that is assessed in the year of death; there
is no federal inheritance tax. Some states levy death taxes, some states levy
inheritance taxes, and a couple of states levy both death taxes and inheritance
taxes. State inheritance taxes can be anywhere between 0–10%, depending on the state
in which you live, and estate transfer taxes may also apply.
The Seven Steps
in the Estate Planning Process:
Schoenherr is a faculty member at Kaplan University. The views
expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent
the view of Kaplan University. Speak
with a professional for any estate planning needs.
By Cynthia Waddell, PhD, CPA, CFE
By Geoffrey Vanderpal, Full-Time Faculty
By Richard Carter, PhD
By Stanley W. Self, CFE
By Jerry Taylor
By Rachel Byers, Full-Time Faculty, School of Business
Accounting firms are taking advantage of some emerging trends.
Change is the name of the game in wealth management!
Most people do not realize there are a variety of jobs in this field.
According to the BLS, employment of insurance sales agents is projected to grow.
Access definitions and FAQs related to accounting.
Access definitions and FAQs related to investments and wealth management.
Access definitions and FAQs related to real estate.
Access definitions and FAQs related to risk and insurance.
Kaplan Real Estate Education's Toby Schifsky looks at the factors to consider when pursuing a real estate career.
Toby Schifsky talks about the importance of goals and action steps for achieving them.
Access preparation and practice advise from Kaplan Financial Education experts Mary Orn and Julie Ramsey.
Maylee talks about her experiences with Kaplan Financial Education and preparing for her exams.
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