Now that we have a new administration and slim Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress, there are some shifting taxation priorities. Of course, there is formidable resistance from the other side of the aisle. There are those clamoring for more taxes on the wealthy and proposals that would expand federal transfer taxes. In this post, we will look at potential changes to the federal estate tax exclusion and the step-up in basis. Potential Exclusion Reduction The federal estate tax … [Read more...] about New Majority May Push for Transfer Tax Expansion
Before we provide some information about long-term care insurance, we should explain why the matter should be on your radar. The United States Department of Health and Human Services maintains the LongTermCare.gov website, and you should check it out if you are looking ahead toward your senior years. They share many relevant statistics on the site, and one of them is particularly attention-getting. Seven out of every 10 people that are turning 65 on any given day will need living … [Read more...] about Is Long-Term Care Insurance a Good Investment?
You may use different types of trusts as part of your estate plan to satisfy various objectives. It may be hard for a layperson to sort it all out, so it is our job to provide understandable explanations. With this in mind, we will take a look at two commonly used trusts that can be beneficial even if you are not a multimillionaire. Revocable Living Trust The revocable living trust is a very effective estate planning tool and an ideal alternative to a simple will. One of the reasons people … [Read more...] about Testamentary Trust vs. Living Trust: What’s the Difference?
The acronym HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. In this post, we explain why this piece of legislation is something to consider as part of your estate plan. Advance Directives for Health Care Everyone is well aware of the fact that an estate plan facilitates final distribution of your assets. However, a proper estate plan also addresses eventualities you may face toward the end of your life. While difficult to think about, people usually do not … [Read more...] about What Is a HIPAA Release?
The simple will or last will and testament is the document most people think of when they think of estate planning. In this post, we will look at the legal requirements for executing a will and a viable alternative. Purposes and Basic Requirements A will can be used to record how you want your monetary assets to be transferred after you pass away. If you create a will, you name an executor to act as the estate administrator. You can also designate a guardian for minor children in a will. … [Read more...] about What Are the Legal Requirements for a Will in Oklahoma?
People often think of wills and trusts as an either/or question. This is true only to a certain extent. We will look at some reasons why you need a will even if you have a trust. Before we get there, let's look at the benefits of a living trust. Streamlined Estate Administration You should consider the tasks of the administrator when you are planning your estate. The administrator of a trust is a "trustee"; the administrator of a will is an "executor". Assets transferred to a living trust … [Read more...] about Does a Living Trust Replace a Will?
As an owner of a small business, your long-term planning goals are often similar to non-business owners. However, business owners have additional concerns. We will look at two of them here. Asset Protection Your legacy is important. To protect that legacy as a business owner, you must prioritize asset protection by separating your personal property from your business activities. If you are a sole proprietor, no such separation exists. However, certain business structures provide asset … [Read more...] about Planning Considerations for Small Business Owners
There is more to estate planning than the creation of a simple will. In fact, a trust may be a better choice in most cases. We will examine the benefits of a trust versus a will in a different post. In this post, we will look at some of the finer planning details that people often overlook. Letter of Final Instructions If you have a will, the executor is the estate administrator. If you have a trust, the trustee is the administrator. For purposes of this discussion, we will focus on the … [Read more...] about Don’t Overlook These Inheritance Planning Details
When a new year rolls around, people often resolve to take care of certain responsibilities that they have been putting on the back burner. With this in mind, we urge you to schedule an estate plan review in 2021 if you have not looked at your plan in years. There are a number of different reasons why revisions can be necessary, and we will look at some of them in this post. Changes to Relevant Laws Your original estate plan is based on a snapshot of the circumstances that existed at the … [Read more...] about New Year’s Resolution: Schedule an Estate Plan Review
The federal estate tax applies to asset transfers when someone passes away and leaves assets to beneficiaries. The tax rate starts at an attention-getting 40 percent. That’s the bad news. The good news is that an exclusion allows you to transfer an amount tax-free. The portion of an estate that exceeds the exclusion is what would be subject to taxation. There are annual estate tax adjustments to account for inflation, and we are going to share the 2021 number in this post. But before we … [Read more...] about 2021 Estate Tax Exclusion Update