Our Alpharetta readers may be interested to know that this week is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Yes, such a thing does exist. As is probably obvious, one of the major goals of the awareness campaign is to encourage folks to begin thinking about and taking steps toward getting their estate in order. And that applies to everybody, not just seniors.
Reducing gift and estate taxes, while not the only goal of estate planning, is one important aspect of it. As we have mentioned before on this blog, trusts can be powerful tools for removing assets from your estate in order to decrease estate taxes, while still providing for your family.
Apple founder Steve Jobs, known for keeping his business private, reportedly took that same approach to his estate planning. According to sources, Jobs and his wife made use of private trusts to hold their real estate, which included at least three different properties. Those properties were apparently placed in trusts back in 2009, while he was on medical leave of absence from Apple.
In our previous post, we began looking at a list of estate planning issues which were suggested as important for women to understand. We present them as important for anybody to understand.
In a recent post entitled "Women and estate planning," we looked at an article written by Deborah Jacobs of Forbes online. The article was about the need for women to become more involved in the estate planning process, not help in the work of planning for the family's future, but also for their own sake. The fact is that women are more likely to see the effects of poor planning than men. And even when the planning is thorough, it isn't always in women's favor.
According to estate planning experts, now is an excellent time to do estate planning. One should probably expect an estate planning to say that, but according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, various factors affecting estate planning strategies are working in the favor of families at present.
Estate planning can often be a daunting task for individuals unsure of how or where to begin. Especially where family and/or financial situations are complex, estate planning can be tricky. And even though many have a basic understanding of their estate planning goals, some are not entirely sure of what their own priorities are in getting their estate in order.
Under the Tax Relief Act of 2010, the federal lifetime gift exemption was increased to $5 million per person, or $10 million per married couple. That number applies to estate, lifetime gifts, and generation skipping transfer tax. As a recent article in Forbes points out, with such a generous increase in the lifetime gift exemption amount, and with the uncertainty about when that number will change, many are now taking advantage of the ability transfer assets with little or no federal gift tax consequences.
Many residents in Atlanta and around the state use wills and trusts to transfer assets after death, but confusion about the function of each document is common. An experienced Georgia estate planning attorney can help guide individuals through the estate planning process and draft the appropriate document for a client's unique situation.
Many Georgia residents use wills and trusts to help plan their financial affairs and pass their wealth to family and friends. Although a typical will leaves money to living relatives and a trust may establish an education fund for future generations, one wealthy industrialist's estate plan is providing for his descendents in an unusual manner.