District of Columbia couples who created their estate plans a few years ago may want to consider updating or replacing it. In the past, each spouse had a certain amount of assets that could pass to heirs and beneficiaries free of federal estate taxes. Now, however, the concept of "portability" has changed how married couples can use the federal estate tax exemption during estate planning.
Without a doubt, every Washington, DC resident is going to grow older. As that happens, it may become clear that some degree of care will be needed -- whether it is in the home, at an assisted living center or in a nursing home. Doing some long-term care planning ahead of time could soften the blow when it comes to the logistics and cost of that care.
Washington, DC parents who have young children usually spend a great deal of time worrying about their safety. Numerous dangers lurk even in the child's home when they are young and exploring their world. However, it is the danger of losing their parents that is the most unpredictable. Estate planning may not be able to prevent the untimely demise of a child's parents, but it can provide a plan for who will care for him or her in the event such a tragedy occurs.
When some Washington, DC, residents are advised to create an estate plan, they may decide not to because so many other people's estates are settled without going through this process, and they believe it will work for them as well. Simple, right? Not necessarily, because simply letting your assets be divided through the laws of intestacy can backfire. Without estate planning, there is no way to guarantee who will receive an individual's assets or to guarantee that the beneficiaries will handle their inheritances responsibly.