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Advanced estate planning can offer significant advantages

A good estate plan is essential for anyone who wants to have peace of mind over their assets and legacy. Starting with the basic building blocks such as a will, an estate plan can be either quite simple and direct, or more complicated and involved, depending on the testator's situation and needs. More involved estate planning is also known as advanced estate planning, and this does offer specific advantages for the testator.

One benefit of advanced estate planning is the ability to reduce an estate's taxes. This can be done by simple methods, such as giving specific types of assets, such as stock, directly away as gifts to either a loved one or to a charity. It can also be put into a trust which can then be used for the beneficiary. Estate gifts that are given directly to a family member or to a charity have the effect of immediately reducing the value of the testator's estate, because once the asset is given away its value is no longer part of an estate's asset.

Trusts are a specific kind of estate planning tool that can also provide significant benefits. Advanced types of trusts, such as spousal lifetime access trusts, can do more than just reduce an estate's taxes. They can also protect the assets placed in these trusts from creditors and potential lawsuits. There are even very specific types of trusts, such as asset protection trusts and specific types of offshore trusts, that are designed to protect their assets from creditors.

Advanced estate planning tools can also be used to allow an estate's assets to create an ongoing legacy. Seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney can help those in such situations move forward with a solid plan of legal action.

Source: about.com, "3 benefits of advanced estate planning", Accessed June 17, 2016

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