When you first start to get serious about planning your estate you are probably going to poke around the Internet and do some research on the subject. When you do, you will invariably see quite a bit written about avoiding probate, and you may not know exactly what it is or why you might want to avoid. When you pass away the law requires your estate to pass through a legal process during which the court will determine the validity of the will and supervise the administration of the estate. This … [Read more...] about Why You May Want To Avoid Probate
Most attorneys who are involved in estate planning are well versed in the entire spectrum of elder law, and this is a legal specialty that is growing rapidly and becoming increasingly important. As people live longer and the baby boomers enter the latter portions of their lives there are more and more elders among us, and the senior population is continuing to get larger with no end in sight. You can divide up the responsibilities of elder law attorneys along a number of different boundaries, … [Read more...] about The Full Spectrum Of Elder Law
The fact that the estate tax was repealed for 2010 as a result of a provision contained in the Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act of 2001 has been a hot topic, but of course it is returning in 2011. Far from considering an expanded or permanent repeal, there are actually whispers circulating that Congress may try to impose the estate tax retroactively on those who avoided it in 2010. However, if you want to look at the facts objectively, one can make a very strong case for the permanent repeal of … [Read more...] about Should 2010 Estate Tax Repeal Become Permanent?
When you look at the subject of procrastination you immediately recognize the fact that people put off the things that they don't want to do, not the things that they find to be enjoyable. Folks don't usually procrastinate when it comes to going to see their favorite musical artist, scheduling a tee time, or making reservations at that excellent new five star restaurant. With that in mind, what could be more subject to "procrastination" than death? That is something that we most definitely want … [Read more...] about Estate Planning & Procrastination
When you decide that it is time to sit down with an estate planning attorney and make some decisions about the future there is a lot to consider. You must evaluate where you are financially, assess the needs of your family, consider the tax ramifications of your actions, and address the matter of medical preferences. This is all part of wise and prudent long term planning, and when all of your intentions coalesce into a solid plan you feel a particular sense of closure and the peace of mind that … [Read more...] about Estate Plan Reviews
It is important to take steps to preserve your assets as you pass them along because there is a powerful force that will be standing at the ready waiting to pounce when it is time for the distribution to take place. We had a brief respite from it in 2010 because it was temporarily repealed, but the force will be back in 2011 and it is called the federal estate tax. The maximum estate tax rate is going to be 55% unless there is some change enacted, and paying such a draconian levy is clearly … [Read more...] about The Benefits Of A Generation-Skipping Trust
People take varying views on taxation, and of course nobody likes to pay taxes, but there are those who view these levies as necessary evils. However, others would contend that estate taxes are really indefensible. Their argument revolves around being taxed more than once on the same income, and it makes a lot of sense. When you earn a paycheck or derive income from your business it is taxed. You use some of what is left to pay your mortgage. Let's say your home is finally paid for after thirty … [Read more...] about Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
When you decide that it is time to plan your estate you have a lot of things to consider, but when you own a small business the matter becomes even more complex. Everyone should have an estate plan in place, even at a young age, but business owners really need to think ahead. The primary reason for this is that your long term intentions have a lot to do with how you should structure your business along the way. People who have a professional practice or some other type of owner-dependent … [Read more...] about Small Business Estate Planning