Most people have yet to decide what will happen to their estate when they pass away. Although many people believe this is something that only the elderly should concern themselves with, there is no telling what could happen. Death can come when you least expect it, and without a plan for your estate, you could leave your family with a lot of challenges.

In estate planning, there are certain things that you need to take into consideration. This is the ideal way of ensuring the intestacy process proceeds as smoothly as possible.

State Who Gets What

It's important to clearly state what each person will get when you die. If the process is left to the laws of the state, the monetary value of the property will be the most important factor. Therefore, that vintage car that you wanted to leave to one of your children may have to be sold. Unless your wishes are clearly stated, there is also a chance that people close to you that are not considered family members could be left with nothing.

Decide How the Estate is Used

When you're making plans on how your estate will be divided, remember that you can also decide how the money will be used. You can decide that certain amounts of money be set aside to cover the college fees of someone, or you can set aside some money to meet the needs of someone who needs special care. The trustee will have a legal obligation to ensure the estate is spent as stated.

Reduce Tax Obligations

Income tax and estate tax can significantly reduce the amount of money or value of the property that your loved ones inherit from you. There are methods of passing down your estate that are much more tax-efficient. You can leave assets that can be taxed to charities while passing the tax-free assets to other beneficiaries.

Alternatively, you can start gifting your estate to beneficiaries while you're still alive. Gifts valued at less than $13,000 are not taxable.

Choose an Estate Sale Organizer

Estate sale organizers like Remember When Estate Sales, LLC help liquidate personal possessions to make them part of the monetary value of your state. Without a professional's help, your family might end up letting valuable items go for well under the reasonable asking price, thus devaluing your estate.

Work with Professionals

Deciding what becomes of your estate is not a simple process. There are many legal issues involved, and you'll need a team helping you so you make the right decisions. You should have an attorney to help guide you as well as a tax expert so you know how you can keep the taxes as low as possible. You can also hire a financial advisor to help you plan your investments.