It is very satisfying to achieve all of your financial goals. Consequently, if you have been quite successful from a financial standpoint, you have to be concerned about protecting your legacy. The estate tax is one of many significant factors for high net worth individuals because there is a relatively high estate tax exemption. The exemption (actually called "exclusion" today) is the amount that can be transferred to anyone of your choosing before the estate tax would become … [Read more...] about An Irrevocable Trust Can Ease the Estate Tax Burden
by Steve Hartnett Clients are often most concerned about how to dispose of their tangible personal property, i.e., their “stuff.” Often even wealthy clients are most concerned with the things around them rather than their financial accounts. What’s the best way to handle the “stuff”? At first glance, this may not make much sense because the items may not be of great financial value. But clients may have developed great emotional attachment to these items. In fact, there is a … [Read more...] about How to Dispose of “Stuff”
Estate planning attorneys help people understand how property will be transferred after death, and there are different scenarios that can enter the picture. One of them is the situation that would unfold if property is jointly held by more than one owner. Joint Tenancy One form of concurrent ownership is joint tenancy. In order for property to be held in joint tenancy, there must be “four unities” in a legal context: time, title, interest, and possession. This means that the co-owners must … [Read more...] about What’s the Difference Between Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common?
Caring.com has been conducting surveys on an annual basis to measure estate planning tendencies. They have found that preparedness has been going down over the last few years. Overall, 32 percent of the people they polled in 2020 have estate plans in place. In 2017, the figure was 42 percent, and the lack of preparedness is not confined to younger adults. Just over 27 percent of Americans between the ages of 35 and 54 have wills or trusts, and 52.1 percent of individuals that are 55 years … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: It’s Simpler Than You Think
by Steve Hartnett Why do you have a “Last Will and Testament.” Even Estate Planning attorneys are unlikely to know the etymology of the term. It was the subject of a recent question on “Jeopardy.” Have you ever wondered why the dispositive instrument in which you express your wishes is called a “Last Will and Testament?” Few people, including Estate Planning attorneys, know the reason. In fact, the history is a little muddy. Occasionally, clients will ask this question. Now you’ll know … [Read more...] about “Last Will and Testament” Origin
Estate planning can seem like an overwhelming task if you want to make sure you do everything right, and this can lead to procrastination when you don’t know where to begin. While there are different approaches that can be taken, there is a basic framework that is the same for everyone, and it boils down to four essential elements. Asset Transfers You have to utilize an asset transfer vehicle when you plan your estate. Many people assume that a simple will is the right choice, but this is … [Read more...] about You Should Have These Estate Planning Documents
Estate planning attorneys field many questions about taxes on inheritances and people usually have negative expectations. They are pleasantly surprised when they hear the facts. We will pass along the good news and a little bit of bad news in this post. State-Level Estate Tax A dozen states and the District of Columbia have state-level estate taxes. Oklahoma does not have an estate tax, but if you own property in a state that does, the tax will apply to your estate if its value exceeds the … [Read more...] about Is There a State Estate Tax in Oklahoma?
What’s a “Dynasty Trust?” Such a trust is one that continues for the maximum term possible. There can be estate tax advantages to such a trust. by Steve Hartnett Trusts are very useful, flexible tools to hold assets. They allow for management of assets during your life, upon your incapacity, and for the continued management of the assets after your death. Perhaps you’d continue to hold the assets in trust until your children reach a suitable age to manage the money for themselves, … [Read more...] about Dynasty Trusts
Different methods that can be used to transfer assets to the people on your inheritance list. A perfectly acceptable way to get a bequest into the hands of one person may be very wrong for another. This becomes clear when providing for a person with a disability. We will look at the details in this post. Government Benefit Eligibility People with disabilities need health insurance, but a significant percentage of them cannot work. This means they can’t get health insurance through their … [Read more...] about Special Needs Planning Demystified
The simple answer to the question above is, "yes, it can." But with proper planning, the loss of your home may be avoided. Often, people get partial information about government programs for seniors and they proceed based on some misconceptions. In this post, we will look at one of these and help you see the complete picture. But first, let's provide the necessary background information for those who may need it. Medicare and Long-Term Care If you work and pay taxes for at least 10 … [Read more...] about Does Medicaid Really Take Your Home?