Some folks have the mistaken notion that a prenuptial agreement is only for the super wealthy or those who have little faith in the strength of their marriage. So, the thought is that a wealthy person needs a prenuptial to prevent a gold-digger from entering a marriage just so that Continue reading
Congress has various taxing systems in place to tax the transfer of wealth, both during your lifetime and after you pass away. There are certain transfers you can make, however, without incurring any tax.
Annual Exclusion Gifts
Each year, you can give up to an amount set by law, called Continue reading
Clients often naturally name their children to be beneficiaries of their revocable living trusts. Many clients also wish to name one or more of their children as the trustee of that trust but are not sure if that is allowed by the law. While a beneficiary is allowed to be a trustee Continue reading
For many people, a trust is one of the foundational tools used when putting together their estate plan.
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement, established by a settlor or trustmaker, giving a third party, the trustee, the authority to manage assets on behalf of one or more persons known Continue reading
There are many types of life insurance available that could be considered as part of one’s estate plan. Let’s look at a few.
What Is Life Insurance?
In general terms, life insurance is a contract between two parties, usually an individual and an insurance company, in which the insurance Continue reading
An important element of creating an estate plan is choosing who will act for you to handle your legal, medical, and financial affairs if you become unable to manage them yourself due to accident, illness, or aging, and when you pass away. The individual or entity you choose must be Continue reading
There are many different types of trusts that can be used in estate planning. Here we discuss a few types that may be appropriate for your situation that you might consider for your own estate planning.
A living trust is the most common type of trust used in estate planning. Continue reading
If you have completed your estate planning recently, or recently updated an older estate plan, you may have been surprised at the length of many of the documents that make up your plan. You may have entered the planning thinking that your situation was relatively simple and straight Continue reading
The Department of Justice reports that approximately 600,000 people go missing in the United States each year. The loved ones who are left behind must carry not only heavy emotional burdens but significant practical burdens too. People who go missing often leave behind real estate Continue reading
After the death of a loved one, such as a parent, there are a variety of tasks that must be handled to wrap up your loved one’s final affairs. Selling your deceased loved one’s real estate is one of the more daunting ones. But before you call a real estate agent, you should take some Continue reading
In today’s society, children born to unmarried parents are commonplace. Historically, children in this category were treated poorly by both society and the law. In many cases, they had no right to inherit from either parent. Laws eventually changed and provided means for these children Continue reading
The chances of a married couple dying in a common accident or within a very short time of one another are probably quite slim. However, it does happen. And it happens frequently enough that most states have laws to address the issue and the problems that can arise from simultaneous Continue reading
Estate planning is essential for everyone, but it is especially important if you and your partner are in a long-term committed relationship and are not married. Unless you plan properly, your partner will not receive any of your money or property when you pass away and will be unable Continue reading
Using the correct terms is critical in wills, trusts, and other legal documents because words describing familial relationships have distinct definitions and carry significant implications. The wrong word can confuse your intended meaning and cause an unintended result. Here are a Continue reading
Studies show that more and more Americans are living with an unmarried partner and entering into long-term committed relationships without getting married. Unfortunately, many state and federal laws do not protect unmarried couples as they do married couples when it comes to inheritance, Continue reading
Now, more than ever before, Americans are using a variety of tax-deferred accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs to save for retirement. For many of my clients, their retirement account is their largest asset. And while the laws are currently designed so that people must start withdrawing Continue reading
Conversations about incapacity, death, and dying are rarely fun. Most people avoid them because it can be unsettling to discuss failing health and the inevitability of death. Engaging in these conversations can be particularly difficult for parents and their adult children. Adult Continue reading
Do you have an IRA or other type of retirement account that you plan to leave to your loved ones? If so, proceed with caution. Inherited retirement accounts do not have asset protection when they pass to your loved ones, according to a 9-0 ruling from the United States Supreme Court Continue reading
Your retirement accounts come with some great features. Two of the primary features are tax-deferred growth and asset protection. However, these great features do not fully pass to your loved ones after your death. The tax-deferred growth is limited, with some exceptions, to a ten-year Continue reading
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), from 1986 through 2018, tens of millions of firearms were both manufactured in and imported into the United States. Where are those guns today? They are most likely filling gun safes, closets, nightstands, Continue reading
If a loved one has recently died or become incapacitated and unable to manage their affairs, finding the person’s estate planning documents is essential. The estate planning documents are critical to making decisions on the loved one’s behalf, gaining access to accounts, and discovering Continue reading
The death of a loved one is never easy. Space and time is needed to process and grieve your loss. Once you have had time to cope with all that has happened, you should consider updating your estate plan with any changes that might be needed because of your loved one’s death. Here Continue reading
One of the primary guiding factors in estate planning is how assets are owned or titled. A goal in planning is usually to avoid assets being only in your name when you die. Otherwise, assets will be subject to probate, a costly, public, and time-consuming court process that can be Continue reading
When a family member or other loved one dies, grief and shock can sometimes be overwhelming. The last thing most people want to think about is making phone calls or funeral arrangements. Some things do not need to be done immediately, but there are some steps that should be taken Continue reading
Real estate can be owned in several ways, each carrying important legal consequences. Failing to understand how you legally own your real estate and how it will be passed on to your loved ones can lead to unintended, and often negative, consequences.
Outright Gifts at Death
Gifts In Continue reading