If the election results in a political party change, it could mean not only lower estate and gift tax exemption amounts, but also the end of the longtime taxpayer benefit of stepped-up basis at death. To avoid the negative impact of these potential changes, there are a few wealth transfer strategies it would be prudent to consider before the year-end.
Most people understand that having some sort of an estate plan is a good thing. However, many of us do not take the first steps to get that estate plan in place because we do not understand the nuances between a will and trust – and dying without either.
It can be hard to get motivated about your estate planning; it sounds about as fun as getting a root canal. The truth is that estate planning is not really that bad. In fact, with our help, estate planning is easy. We will talk with you about your goals and concerns, analyze your family and financial situation, and work with you to come up with a solid plan.
Protecting your family is important, especially when you have minor children, and even more so now that we are living through a pandemic. Having an up-to-date estate plan can be the first step toward providing that certainty in an uncertain world.
An advanced healthcare directive clearly spells out your wishes for the end of your life, for example, whether or not you want to be placed on life support if you are in a persistent vegetative state or have a terminal illness. Although it is one of the least discussed documents in an estate plan, it is equally as important as the other documents.
While most people want the settlement process to be done ASAP, probate can take between 18 and 24 months. Yes, you heard that right. The time delays create unnecessary stress, especially for families who need access to those accounts or property.
When planning for death, most people assume they will die before their beneficiaries (e.g., their spouse, children, and grandchildren). While these assumptions are often well-founded, they do not always come to pass. Sometimes a beneficiary of an estate or trust dies before the person leaving t...
Personal injury settlements often involve significant amounts of money. Consider consulting an estate planning attorney to make sure that any money received will be protected from present and future creditors, properly managed during disability and at death, and distributed according to your wishes.
A typical conservation easement is created when a landowner makes an agreement (known as a “servitude”) with a charitable organization or government “land trust.” In addition to the environmental and societal benefits that conservation easements can provide, there are significant tax benefits for those who create them.
Because September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, we want you to be prepared for whatever life throws at you. Although none of us can predict the future, there are some things you can do to ensure that you and your family are ready.
Even though the grief of death cannot be avoided, you can employ several strategies to reduce the chances of your loved one being frozen out of a bank account that must be accessed immediately upon your incapacity or death.
For many snowbirds, cooler weather means it is time to head south. If you are thinking about heading for warmer weather this winter, there are a few things you should consider before hitting the road.
The effort that you put into planning your estate today can have a significant impact on how much of your money and property end up in the hands of your heirs or beneficiaries. Still, it is important to properly set expectations for your beneficiaries. Not all expenses can be avoided, and loved ones need to understand that mentally spending money that they may never receive can be, at best disappointing, and at worst, financially disastrous.
Far too many families end up fighting, or at least experiencing tension, over a family inheritance. But it does not have to be that way. Having counseled families for years, we offer the following pearls of wisdom to help your family avoid fighting over your property when you are gone.
Transitions in business are prompted by retirement, sudden illness, incapacity, death, or other major life events. Failure to plan for the inevitable transitions of life puts a business’s survival at risk. By carefully crafting your business succession plan, you can facilitate the proper preparation needed for a smooth transition in the company.
Retreating to a warmer climate for the winter sounds like an ideal way to spend a few months. To help make this dream a reality, some individuals choose to rent out their second homes when they are not in use. But before you list your second home for rent, there are a few things you should consider.
Today, many people are using a revocable living trust instead of a will or joint ownership as the foundation of their estate plan. When properly prepared, a living trust avoids the public, costly and time-consuming court processes of conservatorship or guardianship (due to incapacity) or probate (after death). Still, many people make a big mistake that sends their accounts and property and loved ones right into the court system: They fail to fund their trust.
An interest in an MLM or franchise business may not automatically transfer to your beneficiaries, even if you include it in your will or trust. Further, if it is permitted to be transferred, it may be forfeited if your beneficiaries fail to meet certain contractual requirements. This is because the transfer of those interests is governed by the terms of the agreement you entered into with the franchisor or MLM company.
Most people think of probate (the process of collecting, managing, and distributing a deceased person’s money and property) as a private process. However, because wills are filed at the courthouse, probated estates become a matter of public record.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to volatile markets. In response , Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The CARES Act was primarily aimed at providing quick and substantial relief to individuals and businesses affected by the economic shutdown In addition, the new legislation contains other provisions concerning retirement accounts that may lower your tax bill for 2020.
A skilled attorney is a critical part of any business owner’s advisory team. Business attorneys are equipped to assist you in handling a variety of tasks that can protect you from potential legal and business pitfalls, in addition to solving existing legal issues. As important as they are to your team, finding the right business attorney may be challenging if you do not know what to look for.