Failing to plan for your estate can mean that the government, rather than your heirs, may get the major portion of your hard-money. Why? Because the top estate tax rate is an astounding 55%! Further, probate costs can take from 5% to 15% of the gross value of your estate, and the probate process routinely takes at least a year, often longer.
Many people are aware of the exclusion of assets up to $600,000 from estate taxes. To most, this appears to be a significant amount. Yet, when you contemplate the value of retirement benefits, life insurance, the value of your home and other assets, you may be amazed at how much you are worth.