One of our core activities is estate planning. Drafting a good marital property agreement and a good will or testament helps ensure that when you die, you don’t pay any more inheritance tax than you need to. We also advise on the ways you can save on inheritance and gift tax by gifting to your future heirs while you are still alive.
What is estate planning
Estate planning is planning for your ultimate demise and what happens after: taking the right steps, in advance, to avoid as much tax as possible upon your death. When you make sure that your estate changes hands in the most structured possible way, you can save a lot on taxes and save your heirs a lot of trouble.
For who is estate planning interesting?
Estate planning is something that anyone who will be leaving any assets behind upon their death should be interested in. Of course, the greater the assets, the bigger the potential tax savings. And if your business is part of your estate, then the administration becomes even more complicated.
Advantages of estate planning
With estate planning, you make sure that everything is taken care of when you die. The goal is that you:
- Pay the minimum possible inheritance tax and gift tax
- Decide who your assets are transferred to and when (preserving the control relationships that you want)
- Make things as easy as possible on those you leave behind
- Ensure the continuity of your business
Proper arrangements give you peace of mind
Estate planning takes a load off your mind. You can rest easy knowing that you have made good arrangements for your estate. And that you have put the right protective measures in place. This makes things clear, so you and your future heirs can sleep at night. When the day comes that you are gone, it’s going to be hard enough on them without any extra worries. Have you ever thought about how much it can cost if disputes about your estate arise after your death? If your heirs ultimately end up in court? About how much emotional damage a long, drawn-out family struggle can do? You can minimize the risk of this happening by arranging everything as well as possible ahead of time.
Under the system of statutory division, the goods of the estate are allocated to the surviving spouse or partner. The children are assigned an interest-bearing claim that becomes exigible when the surviving spouse/partner dies.
Usufruct by testament
Usufruct by testament gives the surviving spouse or partner the right to use all the goods of the estate and to enjoy the ‘fruits’ of them, while assigning the children the bare ownership of the goods.
The testament that is right for you depends on the circumstances at the time of your death, the life expectancy of the surviving spouse/partner, and the expected returns on the underlying assets. As that suggests, a good testament will offer you the maximum possible flexibility. One option is the ‘combination testament’. This allows the choice of variant of settling the estate to be made upon your death. Weller can show you the testament that is right for you, and whether you may gain some tax advantages by transferring assets to your children now without giving up control of the assets.