Planned Giving Newsletter
Do you have questions about estate planning? Planned giving? Your will? Each month, we feature new articles and interactive features. We also share news about the charitable endowments under the umbrella of Hindu Heritage Endowment.
The Loving Ganesha Distribution Fund, fund #28, distributes free copies of the book Loving Ganesha around the world. Read more..."
Calculate the Value of Your Estate
As part of the estate planning process, it’s important to determine what you own and to calculate the value of your estate. By calculating your estate size, you can plan for the future and leave your loved ones better prepared.
Determine your estate size by taking the following four steps:
Step 1: Inventory Your Major Assets
Assets can include many items, such as the following:
- Cash, including savings accounts and CDs
- Stocks, bonds, mutual funds
- Retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s or IRAs
- Home(s), land and other real property
- Life insurance policies
- Tangible personal property, including automobiles, jewelry and antiques
- Equity/ownership interest in a business like a sole proprietorship or partnership
Step 2: Determine How and With Whom Your Assets Are Owned
Ownership generally falls into three categories: solely owned, jointly owned with rights of survivorship, and tenancy in common. Owning an asset with your brother, for example, is different than owning an asset with your spouse. Also, married couples who live in community property states have additional record-keeping requirements.
If you are unsure how your assets are owned, review the title of each asset. This information can typically be found in the deed, title or account information. If you are still unsure, ask your attorney or financial advisor.
Step 3: Calculate Your Debts
Debts are subtracted from the value of your assets at your passing. Common debts include mortgages on a primary residence or vacation house, equity loans and credit card balances. Vehicle loans and other loans are also calculated here.
In addition, your estate itself will incur legal fees and other expenses that will reduce the amount of your estate subject to taxation.
Step 4: Total Up Gifts You’ve Made
Don’t forget the gifts you’ve already made to others. You are allowed to gift up to $14,000 (for 2016) per year per person without having to declare the gift or pay gift taxes. Gifts made during your lifetime in excess of this amount will reduce your estate tax exemption (currently $5.45 million).
© The Stelter Company: The information in this publication is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, please consult an attorney. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.
Planned Giving Guidance
Reflecting on the All-Important Will
Family Life at Udayan Care
This eight minute film introduces the Udayan Care ghars, homes for displaced children in India
Estate Planning Toolkit
Download our toolkit to help with your estate and gift planning preparation. The Toolkit can help you save money in attorney's fees. New: Toolkit for Canadians now available.
Essentials of Financial & Estate Planning
In this animated short video we explain some basic essentials of financial & estate planning
What is an Endowment?
This 101 second animated video explains the three types of endowments