When someone cuts corners on estate planning and goes for the simple and easy Last Will, the results could be that they will cause their loved ones a great deal of grief when it comes time to settle their estate. There is no such thing as a simple and easy Last Will. In fact, most “simple and easy” Last Wills are nearly worthless when it comes to actually settling the deceased’s estate. It reminds me of the old adage: “Easy now, hard later.” … [Read more...] about The True Costs of A Simple and Easy Will
An estate plan can do far more than just protect your heirs from creditors and divorcing spouses. When an estate plan is drafted correctly, you can also use it as a way to help encourage and guide your loved ones, even after you are no longer there. … [Read more...] about Estate Plan Incentives
While drafting your estate plan you will probably come across a lot of people that want to give you advice. You may even find some advice while researching online. Though most people are sure to have good intentions when giving you advice on estate planning, you do have to be careful that you don’t follow bad advice. And, be sure, there is a lot of bad advice out there, especially from friends and family. … [Read more...] about Beware Bad Advice When Drafting Your Estate Plan
When you're planning for the latter stages of your life you are going to have to make long-term projections based on the costs that you anticipate, and this is clearly an imperfect science. However, the best way to approach it is to take care of the things that are within your control and do your research so that you're working with as much relevant information as possible. When you do this with regard to long-term care you'll find that the costs are surprisingly high and rising, and most … [Read more...] about Long Term Care: Know Your Options
At the end of last year there was a lot of attention paid to the debates on Capitol Hill regarding a possible extension of what are called the "Bush tax cuts" that came about as a result of the passage of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. Included in these discussions was the possibility of a change to the estate tax parameters. … [Read more...] about Is Estate Tax Repeal Feasible?
Estate planning and the larger specialty of elder law go hand in hand and there are people who sometimes lose sight of this. There are those who don't really recognize the fact that their retirement, twilight years, and ultimate distribution of their assets after they pass away are intimately intertwined until they get serious about the process of estate planning. I mention this because estate planning attorneys can also help you prepare for the broader picture and address all the eventualities … [Read more...] about Elder Law & The Bigger Picture
Many people find it to be rewarding to engage in do-it-yourself projects, and in recent years the practice has really grown by leaps and bounds. There are a number reasons for this, not the least of which is the growing number of home-improvement superstores, craft shops, and automotive stores that are infinitely well-stocked with software of all kinds, shapes and sizes. You can order anything that you want. In addition, the widespread use of the Internet has made the instantaneous … [Read more...] about DIY Will & Estate Planning Software
One of the most basic questions that people have about estate planning is exactly when one should sit down with an estate planning attorney and put their plan in place. The correct answer is not etched in stone, but it could be argued that you should have a rudimentary estate plan in place as soon as you become an independent adult who is responsible for his or her own affairs. Even if you have no assets to speak of, have no significant other, and are perfectly comfortable with your parents … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: Is Someone Relying On You?
When you are making plans for your twilight years 10, 20 or 30 years in advance you are certainly doing the right thing by exhibiting foresight. However, when you're looking this far into the future it can be challenging to make accurate projections with regard to your potential expenses. One of these possible expenses is the costs associated with long-term care, and they are a source of serious concern within the elder law community. How likely is it that you will one day incur long-term … [Read more...] about Long-Term Care Costs: Are You Getting Prepared?
As a result of the passage of the new tax bill toward the end of 2010 the rate of the gift tax is going to be 35% in 2011 and 2012 and the lifetime gift tax exemption, which is unified with the estate tax exclusion, is now $5 million. When we use these numbers it is important to recognize that they will only be in place for these two years. As we saw at the end of 2010 there will be a new round of discussions as the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 … [Read more...] about Consider A GRAT For Tax Savings