Compliments of Our Law Firm, By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys One of the biggest myths about estate planning is that it is something only wealthy people need because the only reason for having an estate plan is to minimize estate taxes. The truth is, estate taxes are only a tiny piece of the estate planning puzzle – and every adult needs an estate plan. Here are just a few non-tax reasons to plan: Put the Appropriate People in Charge. An estate plan allows you to … [Read more...] about Five Non-Tax Reasons You Need an Estate Plan
Compliments of Our Law Firm, By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys Estate Planning. To many people, it sounds complicated and foreign, something only the wealthy or the elderly need to worry about. It is often not at the top of the priority list for single people or for young couples. Even parents with young children, who know they should at least have a Will, tend to think of estate planning as somehow beyond their reach. In truth, regardless of your age, your situation in … [Read more...] about Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan
Compliments of Our Law Firm, By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys We all know that low interest rates can create excellent opportunities to buy or refinance real estate. But did you know that a low interest rate environment can have an impact on your estate planning options as well? The four corners of a solid, basic estate plan remain the same no matter the economic climate. Interest rates do not determine the effectiveness of a Living Trust, Pourover Will, General Durable … [Read more...] about How Low Interest Rates Can Influence Your Estate Plan
Compliments of Our Law Firm, By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys Estate planning is one of those things that’s easy to put off. We don’t like to think about death – particularly our own – so we put it out of our minds. “What’s the worst that can happen?” we ask ourselves. We’d like to think that the answer to that question is that, even if we didn’t create an estate plan, we’d be off the hook. We’d be gone, so we wouldn’t have to deal with the consequences. This answer is … [Read more...] about Planning for the Worst-Case Scenario
Compliments of Our Law Firm, By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys We all want to make sure our children are financially secure after we’re gone. But accomplishing this means more than just deciding what portion of your estate each child will inherit. It also means determining how and when each child will receive their inheritance. When you have a child with special needs – particularly when that child depends on government benefits like Medicaid or Supplemental Security … [Read more...] about How to Leave an Inheritance for Your Special Needs Child
Compliments of Our Law Firm, By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys Insurance might not be the first thing that springs to mind when someone mentions estate planning. We tend to associate estate planning with Wills, Trusts, and taxes more than with declaration pages and policy terms. However, insurance serves two important estate planning functions, and without it, your plan might not be performing to its potential. The core purpose of insurance is to reduce risk, protecting … [Read more...] about Insurance: The Missing Link in Your Estate Plan?
Compliments of Our Law Firm, By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys You've just returned from your estate planning attorney's office with a draft of your new Trust. As you read through the document, the first thing you notice is how long it is. You're not rich or famous. Does it really take pages and pages of legal jargon to accomplish your intentions for your estate? You've seen do-it-yourself Trust kits online, and they look like they're only a few pages long. A short and … [Read more...] about Why Your Trust Shouldn’t be Short and Sweet
Compliments of Our Law Firm, By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys As our population ages, many of us find ourselves in a role we never quite anticipated: we’re serving as caregivers for our elderly parents while still raising children of our own. The emotional burden is one that most of us accept with grace and love. The financial challenges, on the other hand, can be a little harder to overcome. That’s why it’s important to know when you can claim your aging or ill parent as … [Read more...] about Tax Breaks for the Sandwich Generation
Compliments of Our Law Firm, By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys Trusts are an incredibly useful estate planning tool, and they’re becoming ever more popular. But, as Trusts gain popularity, a question comes up more and more often: who pays the income tax on a Trust? It seems like a simple inquiry, but the answer can be hard to pin down. As a matter of fact, sometimes even lawyers don’t know. So, who does pay the income tax on a Trust? Here is the answer, in a … [Read more...] about Trusts and Income Tax: Who Pays?
Compliments of Our Law Firm, By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys The word basis can have a lot of different meanings. When we’re talking about taxes, though, it has one very specific definition. Basis is the yardstick used by the Internal Revenue Service to determine how much tax you pay on an asset when you sell or otherwise dispose of it. Sell property for more than your basis, and you have a gain that might result in a tax bill. Sell property for less than your basis, and … [Read more...] about A Quick Guide for Basis