Estate planning has always been about protecting your assets so that they will be properly distributed to your selected beneficiaries when you die. Having this in place can give you peace of mind.
But times are always changing. So, let’s take a look at estate planning in Virginia and what’s new for 2023.
The Importance of Estate Planning In Virginia
Estate planning is a process one goes through to prepare for life after they are gone. This includes designating what will happen to all of their assets. It is often way more than just a last will and testament – even though these things are vital to the plan.
While some try to do this planning on their own, it is always recommended that you work through it with professionals. After all, there is so much at stake – and one small error can void your entire plan. This is too important to risk.
What happens if you don’t go through with these preparations in Virginia?
Without an estate plan, your assets will go through probate and be distributed to those you left behind according to Virginia law. Sadly, this places your assets and affairs in the public eye – and they may not be distributed in the way you would have wanted.
In Virginia, there are many laws surrounding end-of-life planning. Having an understanding of what you can and cannot do is important. Protect yourself with the right legal guidance.
Estate Tax Exclusion
The federal estate tax exclusion has been on an upward trend. And, in 2023, the federal estate tax exclusion has reached new heights – $12.92 million. What does this mean?
Anyone who passes away in 2023 with an estate worth $12.92 million or less will be exempt from federal estate tax. For those with estates that surpass this amount, the tax their estate is responsible for will only be for the amount that exceeds this amount.
For instance, if someone has an estate worth $20 million, they would only pay estate taxes on $7.08 million – the difference between the two.
As things currently stand, this federal estate tax exclusion threshold is set to decrease by 2026. This is definitely something that needs to be taken into consideration when going through your estate planning.
Greater Attention to Advanced Healthcare Directives
As life has returned to a new normal since the COVID-19 pandemic swept through, there has been an uptick in individuals seeking to put advanced medical directives in place. More thought has been given as to what they would want to be done for their care – and who they prefer to make those decisions – than in years past.
Rather than spending the majority of the time focused on wills and revocable trusts, considering medical decisions as an afterthought, they are now near the top of the list of decisions being made.
Proper Handling of Digital Assets
The proper handling of digital assets is important – especially since we continue to be in a world of growing innovation. Legislation cannot keep up with these changes and there are no specific laws in place concerning them in a court of law.
Still, they are important to address. And finding ways to safely include them in written estate planning is something that professionals have been doing – and will continue to do.
Digital assets should never be overlooked just because the laws aren’t there. Find ways around it to protect what is yours and how you want it handled after you die.
Estate Planning in Northern Virginia