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Estate planning is a legal process where you make an effort to preserve your assets now, and decide how they will be distributed at your death or during your life. When done properly it can help to save you and your estate thousands of dollars, and ensure your final wishes are carried out.
Proper estate planning will allow you to ensure you are able to control what happens to your assets now and after your gone. It is the best way to ensure your specific wishes are followed rather than hoping the courts make the right choices on your behalf. There are many benefits to estate planning including minimizing the taxes that are owed, maintaining privacy for your estate, helping your loved ones avoid probate court, and much more.
If you are the executor of an estate, you will have quite a few responsibilities that you need to take very seriously. One of the most important of these is making sure the taxes are paid on time, and in full, for everything you are responsible for. Estate taxes may be deferred in whole or in part and it will be your responsibility to make sure that you make all the right elections timely (this is especially true for an estate that is highly illiquid, i.e. holds assets other than cash or marketable securities). You need to analyze how taxes are going to be allocated among the beneficiaries and how funds are going to be raised to pay taxes.