District of Columbia residents may hear from time to time that it is important to have an estate plan that includes at its core a will. People are told that their wills ensure that their assets will be distributed in accordance with their wishes. Some may not be familiar, however, with what the probate process entails.
Many people believe that all wills, trusts and powers of attorney are -- for the most part -- fill-in-the-blank documents. The documents that make up an estate plan may have the same names, but they are all tailored to each individual. No two Washington, DC, residents have the same needs when it comes to estate planning, and each of them receives a unique plan.
Many people have a misconception that trusts are only for the wealthy. In truth, anyone can benefit from using this estate-planning tool if he or she has a home or business or just wants to have better control over how his or her assets are inherited. When viewed in this light, the number of Washington, DC, residents who would benefit from trusts is higher than most people think.
Many District of Columbia residents include their grandchildren in their estate plans. They attempt to figure out a way to leave something to their grandchildren that could provide for them for a number of years while achieving one of most important goals of estate planning -- limiting any tax liability for the beneficiary or heir. A Roth IRA could be a good choice.
Many District of Columbia residents may think that estate planning is only for people who are wealthy. The perception is that the wealthy use their wills and other estate planning documents to avoid paying taxes. This may be true, but taxes are not the only reason for having a will.