December 2012 Archives

Pet trust and other options available for pets in estate planning, P.1

For many people, family pets are not just pets, but family. As such, they deserve to be part of a family estate plan. Even for those who have a less dignified view of pets, however, should consider making them part of their estate planning. One doesn't have to be rich to make such planning worthwhile. There are a number of ways to provide for pets once one is gone.

Will dispute over Kinkade estate settled outside court

The legal dispute over the $60 million estate of Thomas Kinkade, "Painter of Light," has reportedly been settled, just in time for Christmas. As our readers may already know, Kinkade died back in April after accidentally overdosing on alcohol and Valium. We wrote about the estate dispute back in July, noting that Kinkade's estranged wife of 30 years and his girlfriend of 18 months had been engaged in a dispute involving competing wills. The complicated relationship between Kinkade, his wife and his girlfriend made matters even stickier.

New year to bring changes in estate and gift tax law, P.2

In our previous post, we mentioned that the ever changing gift and estate tax law is set to change again in a couple weeks. Now there is now only a tiny window of time to take advantage of the current very favorable conditions for passing on wealth. Once again, if Congress doesn't act in the next weeks, the combined estate and gift tax exemption is set to drop from over $5 million with a 35 percent tax on gifts and bequests exceeding that amount, to a $1 million exemption with a top tax rate of 55 percent.

New year to bring changes in estate and gift tax law, P.1

Many of our readers may already be aware of the big changes coming to the estate and gift tax in 2013. Essentially, the current exemption amount and tax rates are set to shift in the coming year back to their pre-2001 numbers.

To live for now, or plan for later?

Pepsi is marketing their product using the phrase "Live for NOW" and it appears that many these days are doing just that. Americans are using the resources they have available to them today that they could save for tomorrow in the hopes that they will either not need those resources, or will be able to resupply prior to retirement.

Common mistakes made in IRA planning, P.1

Individual Retirement Accounts are widely used investment tools for retirement. To get the most out of an IRA, though, special estate planning considerations come into play. While IRAs are often used to provide for heirs directly or through a trust, the extent to which one's heirs will benefit and avoid burdensome taxes depends on doing proper planning. In our next couple posts, we'll take a look at common mistakes made with IRAs.

"Spiritual" estate planning: boomers look to pass on values with their wealth

While much of estate planning focuses on ensuring our material wealth is passed on to the right people and in the right way, there is a definite spiritual component for many people. "Spiritual" estate planning is becoming particularly popular among baby boomers intent on ensuring their core values fit into their financial planning.

Reminder: estate tax to increase in the new year

As we've mentioned in the past, the start of 2013 will see a substantial increase in the estate tax, often referred to by many as the death tax. While Congress still has the ability to take action in the next few weeks to prevent this from happening, this appears to be highly unlikely to happen.

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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