- You can designate the persons or property to which federal and state death taxes should be charged.
- A will may be an aid as evidence in establishing your domicile to avoid difficulties in probate and the possibility of death taxes being imposed by more than one state on the same property.
- A will can enable you to maximize the advantages of the marital deduction and the estate tax applicable exemption amount.
Advantages Regarding Property
- You can select the relatives and friends to whom you want your property to go and the amount they are to receive. You can reward faithful services by employees, and leave something to your church, temple, school, or other charity.
- Trusts may be created to provide income from certain property for named beneficiaries, making the property in trust available for the beneficiary if it is needed. Or you can have income accumulated and thereby conserved, during periods when it is not needed.
- You may make your own provision for distribution of your property in the event of a common disaster. Where a marital deduction is involved a special provision may save significant dollars in estate taxes.
- You can exercise in your will any power of appointment given to you over property left under a previous will or trust of another.
- You may dispose of any property held jointly in the event you survive the other joint owner or in the event of simultaneous deaths.
Advantages Regarding Your Business
- Provision can be made for continuation or disposal of your business interests, or for confirmation of any agreement for the sale of your business interest at time of death. Where other plans of disposal are not feasible, an executor can be given powers to continue your business for the benefit of the estate, or to liquidate the business if it seems more advisable.
- You can save administration costs and time by giving the executor broad powers so that it is not necessary to petition the court for every action the executor desires to take, thereby providing for an orderly distribution of the estate.
Advantages for Your Minor Children
- You can name a guardian and successor guardians for minor children. This is particularly important where there is no surviving parent.
- Trusts may be created for the benefit of minor children, in which they will not only be relieved of management responsibilities, but expensive and complex guardianship accountings can be avoided.
- An executor, either corporate or individual, experienced in estate management, can be named to administer the estate and carry out your desires.
- You may dispense with the necessity of surety bonds for a trustee or executor, if you choose. This is advisable where a corporate trustee or executor is named.
- Spendthrift trusts may be created, in most states, to guard against dissipation of trust money by the beneficiary.
- You can designate the trustee of any trusts created, rather than leaving this designation to a court, and you can provide for successor trustees in the event that those named in the will cannot serve.
- You may provide for the maintenance or disposal of insurance policies on the lives of others.
The information contained herein is being provided with the understanding that it is not intended to be interpreted as specific legal or tax advice. Neither MML Investors Services, LLC, nor any of its employees or agents, is authorized to give legal or tax advice. Individuals are encouraged to seek the guidance of their own personal legal or tax counsel.