While it is true that passing away is at the bottom of everyone’s to do list, it is an inevitability that we should all face head on. It is important to take the right steps to make sure that your legacy is passed along in accordance with your wishes after you are gone. Unfortunately, a very surprising majority of Americans have no estate planning documents at all. Eye Opening Survey Results A legal website engaged Harris Interactive to conduct an in-depth survey a while back that was intended … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Survey: Americans Are Woefully Unprepared
Now that the Democratic party has taken control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, there may be new legislation passed that impacts the way inheritances are taxed. We will provide some insight in this post. Elimination of Stepped-Up Basis Let’s say that your rich uncle passes away, and he leaves you a thousand shares of stock. The stock is worth $100 a share, but he bought it years ago when it was valued at $10 a share. Your uncle paid $10,000 for the stock, and it grew in … [Read more...] about Dem Control Could Impact Taxes on Inheritances
There are many different facets to the estate planning process, and questions arise when you start to ponder the details. With this in mind, if you have an individual retirement account (IRA), you may wonder about the rules for the beneficiary or beneficiaries. We will provide some clarity in this post, and it is important right around now, because there have been some relatively recent changes that have altered the playing field. Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts The traditional … [Read more...] about What Are the Rules for Inherited IRAs?
We are going to provide some information about taxes on living trust distributions in this post. But before we address this central question, we should provide some general information about the benefits that these trusts provide. Lump Sum Inheritance Concerns You may have concerns about leaving a direct, lump sum inheritance to someone that is on your list. Some folks have a proven history of poor money management, and there are young people that simply may not be prepared to handle a … [Read more...] about Are Living Trust Payouts Taxed?
Mortality is a subject that people generally try to avoid, and it may not seem very relevant to you when you are still young or relatively young. At the same time, people of all ages contract catastrophic illnesses every day, and there are thousands of accidents. Sometimes a highly publicized event will serve as an eye-opener, and the tragic Kobe Bryant helicopter crash would fit into this category. The people that passed away were young and healthy, so it really demonstrated the way … [Read more...] about Pandemic Illustrates the Importance of Advance Planning
In our last post, we looked at three different reasons why you may want to use a trust instead of a will. We promised a second installment, and this is the conclusion of the two part series. Streamlined and Efficient Estate Administration A lot of people assume that the estate administration process is very simple and straightforward if you use a will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer. In reality, there are some rather burdensome steps that must be taken before the assets can be … [Read more...] about When Is a Trust Better Than a Will (Part 2)?
Contrary to popular belief, a will is not a one-size-fits-all estate planning solution. There are many different scenarios that would call for the use of a trust. We are going to look at three of them in this post, and our follow-up entry will add to the list. Nursing Home Asset Protection Most seniors will qualify for Medicare when they reach the age of 65. This program will provide a strong health insurance safety net, but there are out-of-pocket expenses, including premiums, deductibles, … [Read more...] about When a Trust Is Better Than a Will (Part 1)
Our Elder Law and Estate Planning attorneys are deeply committed to the well-being of our clients and their families. Estate planning can be confusing and overwhelming, not to mention there are many different types of trusts that exist. There are reasons why you may want to use one trust rather than another trust. Each situation is different, and this is why personalized attention is so very important. This is exactly what you will get when you choose our firm as your estate planning … [Read more...] about A Look at Two Commonly Used Trusts
If you take the right steps in advance to feather your nest, you can put your working years behind you at some point and enjoy your golden years to the fullest. For many people, an individual retirement account will be part of the plan. This will provide an underpinning that you can draw from when you are a senior citizen, but what happens if you don’t need the money? At some point, you may recognize that you will be in this position. The account will then be part of your estate plan. With … [Read more...] about Key Facts About IRAs and Estate Planning
Your estate may be worth a little or a lot at your death. The items which your beneficiaries might cherish could be the sentimental ones. Read on to learn how your will or trust could provide the ability for you to keep a list and update it without needing to see your lawyer every time you change your mind on an item. The Little Things May be the Most Important … [Read more...] about The Little Things May be the Most Important