When we learned of the original provisions in the Build Back Better Act, many individuals panicked, rushing to complete Estate Planning or seeking to undo certain aspects of their estate plan. As the Build Back Better Act has evolved, many wondered if they should have waited before making significant changes to their estate plan. No matter what happens with the Build Back Better Act, an estate plan centered on long-term goals will serve you well. September usually brings the start of a … [Read more...] about The Sky Isn’t Falling
If you want to be comprehensively prepared, you may want to consider all of the finer details when you are devising your estate plan. It is possible to address important elements in advance, including your final arrangements, as this can ease the burden on your family. Personal Decision Do you want to be cremated or buried? Is there a certain type of memorial service that you would prefer? Do you have a particular member of the clergy in mind? These are personal questions, and you can … [Read more...] about Do You Have Final Arrangement Preferences?
Most people are surprised when they find out how many different ways there are to transfer assets. This is the primary reason why you should work with an attorney to develop your estate plan. A life estate, for example, is one of the methods that can be utilized to transfer assets. In this post, we will explain the concept of the life estate and help you understand when to use one. The Probate Process If you use a will to state your final wishes, an executor, appointed by you or the court, … [Read more...] about What Is a Life Estate and Why Would You Need One?
Planning is important for your income taxation during life as well as for any estate tax at death. Even though 2022 is just starting, it’s not too early to think about planning for whatever it may bring your way. As 2021 ends and the New Year dawns, we need to think of…tax planning! Some years Congress tweaks the laws more than other years. While 2021 held plenty of events: a coronavirus vaccine, new coronavirus variants, a new President, etc., it was a relatively quiet year for legislative … [Read more...] about Tax Planning for 2022
Imagine you are on a plane, and you start talking to the person sitting next to you. They tell you that they are an estate planning attorney, and they are open to answering any question you have about the subject. If you had this opportunity, you would certainly come away with some useful information. Today, we will share an example of how this conversation may play out at an altitude of 35,000 feet. Will my heirs pay taxes on their inheritances? The response to that question can be complex … [Read more...] about A Conversation With an Estate Planning Attorney
In the realm of estate planning, fiduciary relationships are necessary. You should understand the role of a fiduciary when you are devising your plan, we will provide an overview here. Best Interests First, let's define the term "fiduciary". A fiduciary is someone who is legally bound to act in the best interests of another person or a group of people. If you use a will to state your final wishes, you would name a personal representative (often referred to as executor or executrix) in the … [Read more...] about What Does a Fiduciary Do?
There are some commonly held misconceptions about trusts. Many believe trusts are only for the wealthy, and wills are for everyone else. It's true that some trusts are designed for wealthy individuals that have estate tax concerns. However, there are other trusts that are useful for people that are not among the financial elite. In this post, we look at some of the circumstances that call for the use of a trust instead of a will. Spendthrift Protections Unless you include a testamentary … [Read more...] about When Is a Trust Preferable to a Will?
Most people associate Estate Planning with the elderly or very wealthy. This article explores situations in which Estate Planning for the young and healthy is advisable. There’s an oft-cited, paraphrased quote attributed to George Bernard Shaw: “Youth is wasted on the young.” In many ways it’s true. When we are young, we rarely appreciate the beautiful gift of youth. We waste our talents and time on unworthy endeavors, at least most of us. There are a select few on whom youth is not wasted. … [Read more...] about Neither Age Nor Health Determines Whether You Need an Estate Plan
A lot of people think that the term “estate planning” describes the act of creating a simple will to state your final wishes. In fact, there are other tools to use to carry out your final wishes, and a will is not always the best choice. Even if you use a will, there are other issues you should address to be comprehensively prepared. Letter of Last Instructions Through a will, you name an executor to act as the estate administrator. The executor admits the will to probate after your … [Read more...] about Is Your Estate Plan Missing Essential Parts?
We have seen some dramatic increases in real estate values over recent years. This is a very good thing if you are an investor or individual homeowner. But for some people, the increases activate an estate planning challenge. Federal Estate Tax The federal estate tax carries a 40 percent top rate. At that rate, it can significantly reduce the legacy you pass along to the next generation. That’s the bad news. The good news is the fact that there is currently a robust exclusion. The … [Read more...] about Property Value Increases Can Trigger Estate Tax Exposure