Many people hear the term "elder law" and are not certain about all that it entails, so we would like to provide a brief overview. In essence, elder law involves helping people make preparations for all of the eventualities of aging. One of the primary areas of focus for most elder law attorneys is going to be estate planning. You might think that passing along your assets to your heirs should be a very simple matter that doesn't take a great deal of expertise. Unfortunately, this is not the … [Read more...] about What Is Elder Law?
A lot of people tend toward procrastination, especially when the task in question does not seem like it is especially pressing. This is clearly a propensity that is applicable to estate planning, but there comes a time when those who have been putting it off recognize the need to have a plan in place and finally take the plunge. Once they have accomplished their goals they breathe a sigh of relief, store away some documents, and put the matter behind them for good. Unfortunately, this is not … [Read more...] about Updating Your Estate Plan
In 2011 the estate tax is going to be in force, and what is especially noteworthy about it is the change in the exclusion. When the tax was last in effect in 2009 the exclusion amount was $3.5 million, meaning that only the portion of your estate that exceeded that amount was subject to the tax. If your estate was worth less than this, you owed no estate tax. In 2011 the exclusion amount has been reduced to just $1 million, so those with estates valued between $1 million and $3.5 million are now … [Read more...] about A QPRT Can Provide Estate Tax Efficiency
As the legal specialty of elder law expands and estate planning attorneys react to the evolving times, we are seeing new strategies emerge to address all of the eventualities of aging. However, there are some rudimentary elements of estate planning that are as important now as they ever were, and one of these is life insurance. When you recognize the need for a long term plan that will protect your family throughout your life as you prepare for retirement and beyond, the value of life insurance … [Read more...] about Life Insurance Is Still Important
If you are on the outside looking in it may seem as though wealthy people who are planning their estates feel akin to jolly old St. Nick, capable of making the financial dreams of their loved ones come true. It would be disingenuous to suggest that being able to provide for your family after you pass on is not a blessing of sorts, but it's not without its pitfalls. We have all seen reports of the children of very wealthy people struggling in various ways throughout their lives, and there are … [Read more...] about Incentive Trusts Can Give You Peace Of Mind
There are any number of confusing acronyms and unfamiliar terms tossed at you when you start to get serious about planning your estate. But there is one estate planning vehicle that everyone is very familiar with, and that would be the will. Of course there is the standard will that is used to state your wishes with regard to the way that you would like your assets to be distributed after you pass away. We also recommend the living will, with which you state your health care preferences in the … [Read more...] about An Ethical Will Is A Priceless Bequest
One of the reasons why it is important to consult with a professional when you are planning your estate is because each situation is unique. The extent of your assets, the dynamic of your family, the nature of your wishes, and how you want to spend your retirement years all factor into the equation. When you see "do-it-yourself" estate planning kits you have to ask yourself how one marketer could somehow account for myriad possibilities and countless different jurisdictions in one handy-dandy … [Read more...] about Life Insurance & Business Succession Planning
The pros and cons of inheritances are often discussed when you are engaged in estate planning discussions, and there are no easy answers. More often than not people who are in a position to have to make decisions regarding whether or not a large inheritance is good for their heirs usually got there because they are driven individuals. These types of people are often going to take pause because they want to see their loved ones maximize their potential and experience the feeling of doing for … [Read more...] about Inheritance Planning & Doing For Self
The estate tax is something that many people have a problem with not because they are unwilling to carry their fair share of the tax burden, but because it is simply hard to find any logic supporting it. It should first be noted that the estate tax was repealed for 2010 due to a provision in the tax reform act that was passed in 2001, but it will return next year. During the repeal things seem to have proceeded about the same way that the did in 2009 when the tax was in place. So how is a return … [Read more...] about Should 2010 Estate Tax Repeal Become Permanent?
Estate planning is a multifaceted endeavor and there are many things that need to be taken into account regardless of the size and scope of your estate. This is true for everyone no matter how you earn a living, but people who own small businesses face an added layer of complexity when they construct their estate plan. They also may find themselves so wrapped up in their work that they find it difficult to make the time to formulate a plan, but the reality is that the responsible business person … [Read more...] about A Small Business Estate Plan Is A Must