In the state of Mississippi many individuals planning how to look after their estates make the mistake of focusing solely on their wills. While a will is a major part of any estate it does not represent all there is to estate planning. In reality is usually only the last step in what could be a long process depending upon the size of your estate.
Estate planning is exactly what it sounds like, planning. Preparing to hand over an entire estate to an individual or several people takes a lot of time and effort. You are planning how you will dispose of the wealth that it took your entire lifetime to accumulate. This is never a fast process and it never should be.
When done correctly estate planning will help your heirs in the long run. It will help them manage your passing without having to go through any long drawn out court processes. It can also help them avoid paying various probate fees which could cost an estate thousands. Estate planning can also help reduce the amount of taxes paid after your death and it will help ensure that no one is forgotten.
Taxes should be an important part of the estate planning process in Mississippi. So many people do not plan for taxes which will cause heirs a great deal of difficulty that can take years to recover from. Since the state and federal government benefit from taxes it is important that one does everything they can to familiarize themselves with common procedures. Contact local probate lawyers and even tax commissioners to find out how much one should expect to pay for their inheritance.
There are several, legal, ways to help reduce the amount of taxes paid on an estate by heirs. Most of these steps require foresight and are discovered and implemented during the estate planning process. The first way to reduce taxes is to reduce the size of the estate by distributing as much money on a tax free basis as possible. Promising tax free gifts of up to $1 million dollars in a lifetime is possible.
In order to ensure that all bequests are paid out in a timely manner, consider hiring a professional executor or appointing an agent to act on your behalf. The person chosen should not be benefiting from your will directly since that will help avoid conflicts of interest. Usually, an experienced estate planning attorney can help minimize taxes, while ensuring the process goes as smoothely as possible.