August 2012 Archives

Periodic review of estate plan is a good idea

In our previous topic, we began by pointing out the importance of doing estate planning, no matter who you are. Both the wealthy and the not so wealthy can benefit from appropriate estate planning. Here we'd like to point out the importance of not considering estate planning a task to complete and forget.

Everybody can benefit from estate planning

Estate planning is for everybody, not just the wealthy or those with extraordinary situations. The biggest reason for this is that, without a plan of your own, your state will provide you with a "one-size-fits-all" plan through its intestacy statute. Because each person has unique needs and goals, it is not a good option to fall back on these statutes.

Gifting can help reduce estate taxes, achieve estate planning goals

As our readers may have heard us mention before, the end of 2012 will usher in big changes for the gift and estate tax regime. At present, taxpayers have the opportunity to pass on just over $5 million in wealth, free of estate tax. In 2013, that number is set to change back to $1 million, unless Congress takes action.

Five occasions on which you should review your estate plan

Estate planning, rather than being a task that one takes care of and checks off a list, is something best thought of as a process. After drawing up an initial estate plan, one should periodically review it and make any necessary changes. This ensures that the estate plan still serves the purposes for which it was created and is keeping up with changes in the law.

Jackson estate wins victory in copyright case, but will challenge continues

Last Friday, the estate of Michael Jackson won a victory when a federal judge ruled that a memorabilia dealer working with Katherine Jackson violated copyrights owned by the estate and cannot use intellectual property of the estate. At issue is material from the movie "This is it," Jackson's song "Destiny," and material from man anniversary release DVD of "Thriller."

Asset protection trusts can be useful tool for estate planning

Our Alpharetta readers may have heard of asset protection trusts, or self-settled trusts, in the context of estate planning. Self-settled trusts are those in which the grantor and the beneficiary are the same person. Such trusts receive the type of protection from creditors normally given to other types of trusts while allowing the grantor to maintain control of the assets.

Addressing uncomfortable questions in estate planning an important thing to do, P.2

In our previous post, we began speaking about some uncomfortable yet important questions that can come up in the estate planning process, and the need to address these questions. As we noted, this is not always easy to do, but well worth it.

Addressing uncomfortable questions in estate planning an important thing to do, P.1

A large part of doing estate planning is knowing the right questions to ask. Sometimes these questions can be uncomfortable, but asking them is the first step to coming up with strategies to address them.

Attorneys move away from use of trust formula clauses as exclusion amounts change

One of the great functions of trusts in estate planning to is minimize estate taxes. For married couples, there is usually a concern that the surviving spouses have enough money to last until their death. One of the techniques married couples often use is to include a formula clause in their trust which specifies that their children get the amount of assets equivalent to the federal estate tax exclusion, while the rest will go to a marital trust for the surviving spouse.

Mr. Teiger, Thank you very much for your time and results. I will definitely recommend you & your firm to anyone who wants to be treated professionally courteously and needs results.Hope all is well.Again...thank you. Regards, Paul L.

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