A revocable living trust (RLT) is a commonly used estate planning tool. But what exactly are they, who is affected by them, how can they be changed, and what do they accomplish?
What Are They?
Trusts are legal mechanisms for the ownership of property for the benefit of a person or entity. Continue reading
Social media is all about putting yourself out there to connect with people, wherever they may be. If you are active on social media, not only are you being social, you may also be gaining a following that could result in an inflow of cash. If you are using social media to earn income, Continue reading
Trusts can be designed for any number of reasons and can be created to last a short time or to stretch across generations. Properly designed, a trust can keep valuable money and property within a family for an extended time, but no trust has unlimited funds or can last forever. Every Continue reading
For those who have estates large enough to be subject to estate taxes, either currently or when the estate tax exemption falls as scheduled in 2026, various planning options are available to reduce or eliminate the estate tax liability. One strategy is the qualified personal residence Continue reading
An obituary can be much more than just a dry announcement of your death and the time and location of your funeral or memorial service. It can be a way to share your life story, provide information about significant events and people, and remind others of important values. Writing Continue reading
While thinking about your own funeral may not be pleasant, making arrangements in advance yourself may be one of the most thoughtful acts you can do for your loved ones. When you include funeral planning as part of your estate plan, you can spare your grieving loved ones from having Continue reading
Avoiding probate is a common goal expressed in estate planning. Avoiding the costs, delays, and loss of privacy caused by the probate process is often desirable. However, in some cases, there may be some value found in using the probate court process.
Probate is the court-supervised Continue reading
For many, a comprehensive estate plan begins with a living trust agreement. Working with an attorney to create a trust is an important step. But just getting the document drafted and signed is not enough. For any trust to be effective, you must complete the process of aligning your Continue reading
The acronym HEMS is commonly used in estate planning. HEMS, which stands for “health, education, maintenance, or support”, is frequently included in trust agreements to guide a trustee on the types of distributions they may make to a trust beneficiary. When a trustee is limited to Continue reading
Many people have mistaken ideas about estate planning. The uncomfortable thoughts of incapacity or death accompanied by inaccurate information that is shared have caused many to accept common myths.
Myth #1: Only the Rich Need an Estate Plan
We often hear in the news about a celebrity Continue reading
Life insurance is an important financial and estate planning tool, but without certain protections in place, there is no guarantee that your beneficiary will receive, or keep, the benefit from your insurance. Some people assume that they only need to designate their spouse, child, Continue reading
In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, designating the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Current surveys still reveal that the vast majority Continue reading
A comprehensive estate plan is necessary to protect your loved ones when you pass away. Another key component of your plan is making sure that the right amount of money is available to carry out your goals for their futures. Life insurance helps many people provide for their loved Continue reading
For many people, their retirement accounts, such as an IRA, are the largest assets in their estate. Although spouses receive special treatment when inheriting a retirement account, including the ability to roll over the account into a personal retirement account and to stretch the Continue reading
Property obtained during a marriage is called marital property. This property can include anything from real property like homes and rental properties, to stock options, investment accounts, heirlooms, and employment income.
Some spouses want to share their property with each other. Continue reading
A comprehensive estate plan includes several documents that accomplish three key things. First, they lay out your wishes for the handling of your money and property during life and at death. Second, they explain your medical wishes if you are no longer able to make them yourself or Continue reading
As an unmarried individual, you may feel overwhelmed when you think about who will step in and make decisions for you if you cannot make decisions for yourself and who will receive your money and property when you die. A married person often assumes a spouse would have authority to Continue reading
A loved one’s passing is felt by their entire surviving family. But when it comes to carrying out the decedent’s final wishes, not everyone has an equal say. Instead, in most cases, only one person—the executor, personal representative, or successor trustee—plays that key role. This Continue reading
“Basis” is a term used frequently in tax law. Black’s Law Dictionary defines basis as “the value assigned to a taxpayer’s investment in property and used primarily for computing gain or loss from a transfer of the property. When the assigned value represents the cost of acquiring Continue reading
A comprehensive estate plan not only directs what happens to your financial wealth when you pass away, it also addresses the possibility that you could become unable to handle your financial matters while you are still alive, due to accident, illness, or as the result of aging.
A durable Continue reading
Divorce and remarriage are more common now than in the past. If you or someone named in your estate planning documents has remarried, there are several major issues that you should be aware of and some steps you should take to ensure your estate planning continues to be appropriate Continue reading
According to a recent study conducted by Caring.com, the percentage of people aged fifty-five and older who have created a will has fallen from 60 percent to 44 percent since 2019. Although creating or updating your estate planning may seem challenging, a proper estate plan can help Continue reading
If you have a loved one who is disabled or has special needs, great care and consideration must be taken when deciding how to provide for them in your estate plan. An inheritance received outright could cause that special needs beneficiary to lose eligibility for government aid or Continue reading
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