Almost everyone will tell you that effective estate planning is crucial. At the same time, most people will also tell you that they haven't done enough or haven't even started yet. People often assume they don't need to worry about it until they're older, they feel uncomfortable planning for their own passing, or they just don't realize that it should be done sooner rather than later. Below are five reasons why you must get started today.
You considered a lot when you set up your family business, from obtaining financing to selecting an entity. Your children were no doubt a factor as well. Some of it was good; with a family-run business, you can keep control between those you love. Some of it may have been concerning; will it cause tension in the family? Will kids have the desire to take over?
In our last post, we explored the issue of income tax savings with respect to bypass trusts. In this one, we’ll look at a particular strategy to allow beneficiaries of a bypass trust avoid capital gains tax on assets they receive when a surviving spouse (their father or mother) dies.
Readers who have some background knowledge in estate planning know that bypass trusts, a common estate planning strategy in previous years, has diminished in recent years as the estate tax exemption amount has increased.
We wrote last week about the estate planning dispute involving the estate of copper heiress Huguette Clark, involving the issue of whether Clark had capacity when she executed her second will. As our readers will remember, the second will drastically changed how Clark disposed of her assets, and named some sketchy beneficiaries, including her attorney, her caretakers, and the institution where she lived out her last years.
Estate planning attorneys and financial planners, it seems, are always encouraging people to get an estate plan in place and to regularly update it. Most of us know this is good advice, and that the sooner we get around to it, the more peace of mind we’ll have. But when do we do it? When is a good time to actually buckle down and get a plan in place?
In estate planning, there are a number of common mistakes that people fall into. One of these is failing to monitor beneficiary designations. These are important, as they determine where funds from bank brokerage accounts, life insurance policies, retirement packages, and company benefit plans go. When your beneficiary designation forms are not up to date, you risks having those funds go where they are not intended to go.
A lot of estate planning conversations center around how to best avoid state or federal estate taxes, but not all of Alpharetta residents are going to hit the $5.25 million exemption -- or whatever lawmakers decide that amount may be at the time of death. Can estate planning benefit those with estates that don’t add up to multiple millions?
Those who have been following developments in the estate planning world know that January was a big month for attorneys and other estate planning experts. The federal estate tax exemption amount, which had previously been temporarily set at $5 million, was made permanent. With adjustment for inflation, the exemption amount is currently at $5.25 million. And that is permanent.
Putting together the correct documents is an essential part of estate planning. Every estate plan will be different, as everybody will bring different needs to the table. Even between couples, the needs are not always the same. Still, there are some basic things that one can call “core” documents.