More than 50 percent of Americans think that estate planning is at least somewhat important, but only 33 percent have a will or living trust. Estate planning is even more important for farmers as it decides the future of the farm, according to AARP Oklahoma State Director Sean Voskuhl.
Voskuhl… “When you pass away, the tax man isn't the only one who can take a bite out of the assets that you leave behind. Whether it is cash, real estate, retirement money or other funds, inherited assets can suddenly come up for grabs in a number of scenarios when creditors and others come calling. Establishing a trust is not only a key way to skip probate court, it can also prevent the assets you've spent a lifetime accumulating from going to predators who might slap your heirs with lawsuits.”
Voskuhl says it’s also important to title bank accounts and assets properly.
Voskuhl… “If you own joint assets or name beneficiaries on your accounts and assets, a creditor cannot seize what you leave behind. Instead, the money will go directly to whoever is listed on the accounts. But for the unsuspecting who haven't titled their assets properly, there are pitfalls. It’s best to talk to an expert to ensure your have done everything correctly during the estate planning process.”
Learn more Thursday night at 9 pm Central Time on RFD-TV, or online at AARP Dot Org forward slash AARP Live.