New estate and gift tax rate changes may affect far more people than just the very richest of Americans in 2013. The exemption line for both gift and estate taxes is scheduled to drop drastically from $5.12 million to $1 million starting in January.
Our Alpharetta readers may be aware of the controversy surrounding the estate of Whitney Houston. One of the issues at stake in the case is $20 million left in trust to Houston's 19-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. Now, the singer's mother Cissy Houston and sister-in-law Marion Houston, have filed a petition as executors of her estate, calling for a Georgia probate court to restrict the inheritance payments.
In our last post, we began speaking about the importance of having family discussions around estate planning. There are a number of good reasons for this, but the one we've been focusing on is that it reduced the likelihood that problems will arise down the road when it comes time to settle the estate in the probate process.
Estate planning is a process that involves a variety of considerations. Some people will emphasize some aspects more than others, and there are various approaches. One thing that needs to be understood about this process, though, is that a plan that looks good may not mean that the plan will actually work out well.
In our last post, we began speaking about the importance of nursing home planning. As we noted, failure to take time to do such planning can end with medical care depleting one's estate, forcing beneficiaries to sell property to cover costs, and spoiling one's other estate plans.
Asset protection planning is an important adjunct to estate planning, for the simple fact that you cannot pass on what you don't have. If your assets are wiped out because of a lawsuit or nursing home costs, you may have little left to give to your heirs.
In our previous post, we began looking at some of the most common mistakes and misconceptions about estate planning. Here we continue that discussion. Two common misconceptions, which are polar opposites, are that one needs a lawyer to draft all one's estate planning documents. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there can be the assumption that one doesn't need a lawyer at all. Between these extremes, there is a middle ground.
Mistakes in estate planning are not always noticed right away, but they can quite costly. It does help to have an awareness of the types of mistakes people make regarding estate planning. Here we'll explore some of the most common mistakes and misconceptions.
Have you ever stopped to think about what would happen to your pet or pets in the event of your untimely death? For many people, there may be an assumption that somebody will step in to care for the ownerless pet. While this may be true for some, it is no guarantee. Especially for those who are single or elderly, the question of what happens to their pet may not be one they wish to leave to chance.
In our previous post, we began discussing several factors to take into consideration when selecting a trustee to manage your trust assets. As we already mentioned, it is important to consider the size and complexity of the trust assets, as well as the ability of any family members to carry out the tasks of a trustee while leaving personal interests aside.