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Approach changing for some Oklahoma residents leaving inheritance

Even if an Oklahoma resident is not yet approaching retirement, contemplating a plan for the future is wise. The wealthy spend a lot of time tax planning and putting property in trusts to protect assets. However, most people simply focus on hard work and providing for their families.

One difference nowadays is the uncertainty surrounding costs of living as they relate to retirement planning. Will there be enough funding to take us through? Will health care impact savings and preferred lifestyle? Questions like these are not to be taken lightly, according to many experts. The future contemplated from a more complex perspective has created a priority shift for many people. Necessity dictates a legacy of substantial wealth is not quite as high on the list as it used to be.

A multinational bank recently surveyed 16,000 people in 15 countries. It shows only 42 percent of people who are not yet ready to retire plan to leave an inheritance. Currently retired participants who expect their estates would provide some wealth for loved ones numbered 56 percent. Inheritance taxes are not an issue for most families because of estate valuation minimums. However, asset protection through trust planning can play a significant role for family businesses and other property interests.

Industry experts suggest as long as your own retirement goals are on track, sharing an inheritance early through creative means may substantially help your heirs while you are still available to give advice. Continuing life insurance and writing a will with specifics (including how any estate debts are to be paid) are standard. However, through a variety of trust options, pre-retirees can ensure an estate's future to a great extent. Also, cash gifts of up to $28,000 per beneficiary, per year, wouldn't have tax implications.

Since one can't know what the future holds, the best approach is careful consideration of all the options when it comes to estate planning. When you want to provide an inheritance for those you love, a knowledgeable look at where you are and where you want to be in the future is the right place to start.

Source: Usnews.com, "The Best Way to Leave an Inheritance" Joanne Cleaver, Jan. 28, 2014

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