The process of arranging the transfer of one’s wealth and assets after his or her death. Estate planning helps govern how these assets will be managed and distributed, while looking to minimize estate taxes to preserve wealth. Real estate, personal property, stock and other securities, life insurance, and debt are a few of the assets that are considered to be part of an individual’s estate.
In real estate, proper estate planning helps transfer property efficiently, both in timing and cost. Although executing a will is the most basic way to distribute ownership interests in real property, transfers may be subject probate. Joint ownership, living trusts, and establishing beneficiaries for valuable assets are some of the ways to avoid probate.