People that don’t have enough good information sometimes make estate planning errors that yield negative consequences. In this post, we will look at three common estate planning traps that you would do well to avoid. Going It Alone There are those that know they should put a plan in place, but they keep procrastinating for one reason or another. Some of these folks see ads placed by websites that sell do-it-yourself legal documents, including last wills. Going this route can seem like a good … [Read more...] about Avoid These Three Estate Planning Traps
There is no one-size-fits-all estate planning approach, because each case is unique. This is why it is important to discuss your situation with an attorney. Strategies exist to address any type of scenario, and with this in mind, let’s look at planning for a spendthrift heir. Revocable Living Trust Generally speaking, assets that are transferred through the terms of a last will would be distributed in lump sums. This may be a source of concern if you have a poor money manager on your … [Read more...] about Planning Solution for a Spendthrift Heir
There is an election looming over the horizon, and the outcome could have a significant impact on the federal estate tax parameters. High net worth individuals may be negatively impacted by a shift in the political mindset. Let’s look at the details. Federal Estate Tax Exclusion The majority of taxpayers do not have to worry about paying the federal estate tax, because you can transfer a certain amount before the tax would be levied. This threshold is called the estate tax credit or exclusion. … [Read more...] about Will Election Trigger Estate Tax Changes?
Before the advent of the Internet, estate planning was all about hard copies and physical property. These days, we have a whole new facet to take into consideration because we conduct business through the Internet, and we own digital property. With this in mind, we will explain the steps you can take to put a digital estate plan in place. Conduct an Inventory of Digital Assets and Access Information The first order of business will be to identify the digital property that you own. Computer … [Read more...] about Basic Facts About Digital Estate Planning
There are far too many myths that circulate about estate planning. When people buy into them, they sometimes make mistakes that yield negative consequences. In this post, we will dissect some misconceptions about trusts so that you can go forward with sound information. Trusts are only for the rich. This assertion would be true if the word “only” was not part of it. High net worth individuals that face estate tax exposure can absolutely benefit from the utilization of certain types of … [Read more...] about Four Myths About Trusts Debunked
Everyone is aware of the need for retirement planning, and you can enjoy your golden years to the fullest if you take the right steps to build a sufficient financial underpinning. You can spend quality time with your family and friends, travel, enjoy leisure activities, and simply cross things off your bucket list. This can be one of the best periods of your life, but you should also consider the twilight years that will follow. When you reach the age of 67, your life expectancy is at … [Read more...] about Nursing Home Costs Can Erase Your Legacy
If you have been very successful from a financial standpoint, you have to be concerned about the potential impact of estate taxes. Many people contend that the death tax is not fair, because your estate is comprised of resources that you have been able to retain after paying innumerable taxes throughout your life. Why should your death be a taxable event in and of itself? This a good question, but whether it is fair or not, the federal estate tax is a fact of life. The good news is that … [Read more...] about Estate Taxes Can Erode Your Legacy
The type of trust that is most commonly used is the revocable living trust. Many people are comforted by the idea that it is possible to change your mind and dissolve the trust at some point in the future. Plus, if you create this type of trust, you have control even while you are alive and well. As the grantor of the trust, you could serve as the trustee and the beneficiary at first. In the trust declaration, you would name successors to assume these roles after you are gone. You can change … [Read more...] about When Would You Use an Irrevocable Trust?
Sometimes a glaring real life example can get your attention more than any advice that you can be given by a professional. This can enter into the realm of estate planning and elder law from time to time, and there has been a news story circulating recently that fits the bill. In August of 2018, a successful business person from Tampa, Florida named Richard Rappaport got married to Lin Helena Halfon. On the surface, there is nothing to see here, but it gets more interesting when you learn … [Read more...] about Fraud Case Has Elder Law/Estate Planning Implications
Overall, the tax laws that apply to inheritance distributions are favorable to American families. You are not required to report an inheritance as taxable income, and this would include life insurance proceeds. Plus, if you inherit assets that appreciated during the life of the decedent, you do not have to pay capital gains taxes on the appreciation. On the other side of the coin, if you have been very successful from a financial standpoint, you have to be concerned about a significant level … [Read more...] about Estate Tax Exclusion Adjusted for Inflation