In late May of this year, the U.S. Treasury released a publication detailing a number of the proposed tax code changes that the Biden administration would like to usher through Congress in an ambitious effort to modernize the US tax system to meet its citizens’ needs. While reasonable minds may differ strongly on the best way to stimulate the US economy and create wealth and security for the American people, one thing is certain: the need for individuals to engage in careful estate and tax planning to avoid paying more tax than necessary is not going away.
When selecting a successor trustee for a trust, it is common for the individual who creates the trust (the trustmaker) to choose one person to serve as a successor trustee at a time. Some attorneys routinely recommend that only a single successor trustee be appointed to avoid the potential for conflicts between co-trustees during trust administration. This can be a prudent approach and works well in many situations. But there are situations where having more than one trustee may be a good idea. Read more about this in our latest blog post!
Believe it or not, there are some essential things you must consider when you anticipate receiving an inheritance. Understanding these issues can be crucial to protect that inheritance from unnecessary taxes and outside threats like creditors, divorcing spouses, and bankruptcy.
So, you're thinking of leaving money to your grandchildren. Read this blog post to learn what options are available to you.
This year has been unprecedented from a political perspective in many ways. President Joe Biden stepped into office facing huge obstacles related to the COVID-19 pandemic, an economy battered by the pandemic, a crumbling national infrastructure in dire need of repair, an ongoing immigration crisis at our southern border, and deep political and social divisions in this country, among other challenges.
Traditionally, the three roles that must be filled when setting up a trust are the settlor (also called a grantor, trustor, or trustmaker), the trustee, and the beneficiary. All three roles are necessary to create a trust that functions properly. Although it is relatively common to use trust protectors in foreign asset protection trusts, a trust protector is a fairly new role in trusts drafted in the United States for estate planning purposes. However, as the number of trusts designed to last for generations grows, estate plans need more built-in flexibility. Giving a trust protector, through the terms of the trust, certain powers over the trust, such as removing or appointing trustees, adding or removing beneficiaries, and amending or even terminating the trust, ensures that your intentions for creating the trust are fulfilled despite changing law or circumstances.
If you have already done your estate planning, you have taken a significant step toward ensuring that your loved ones will know how to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated or die. However, simply having a will or a trust and related estate planning documents is often not enough. A detailed inventory of all of your accounts and property is crucial for helping your loved ones manage your legal and financial affairs effectively.
For most people, it is perfectly natural to think about estate planning only in terms of planning for death. While planning for your death is very important, if that is all you plan for, your planning can quickly become woefully inadequate. Read more in this blog post.
When you hire an estate planning attorney, you are often looking for help with preparing your accounts and property to ultimately pass smoothly and safely to your loved ones. This is a key component of estate planning. An experienced estate planning attorney will put much thought and effort into ensuring that an appropriate estate plan is created using a variety of legal documents including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives. These important tools can ensure that what you own ends up in the right hands, at the right time, and with as little cost and delay as possible.
On May 4, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published questions and answers regarding retirement provisions in Section 2202 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In addition to providing aid for individuals and businesses, the CARES Act increases accessibility to funds and loans from certain retirement plans and accounts. The information the IRS recently published clarifies which individuals may benefit from the legislation and which plans and accounts are covered.
Recorded Deed Notice - Don't Pay For A Property Assessment Profile and Copy of Your Recorded Grant Deed
Many of our clients contact me weeks after we complete their estate plan to inquire about a notice they receive in the mail. The mailer will say "Recorded Deed Notice" at the top and states that if the homeowner pays a certain fee (e.g., $86.00 or $95.00), they will be get "a Property Assessment Profile Report along with a complimentary copy of their current Grant Deed or other record of title" in return. Clients normally get this notice after transferring real property to their revocable trust, or in regard to other transfers of land.
Many scientific studies have established that there is a wide range of benefits flowing from a positive attitude and positive thinking. At a time when many are focused on worst-case scenarios and gloomy predictions, you can resist the pull of negativity and embrace the beneficial results of positivity. This is not just an attempt to make yourself feel better in spite of reality, but rather to take full advantage of the proven benefits of positivity. You can increase not only your own wellbeing but also that of your children or other beneficiaries by creating an estate plan designed to promote their happiness, which in turn, will enable them to live healthier and more successful lives.
In light of the current pandemic, many Americans are becoming aware of the importance of creating or updating their estate planning documents. With the extension of some states’ stay in place orders, it may be tempting to create your own documents all on your own. Whether you are considering writing your own will or using an online “do it yourself” (DIY) document creator, there are many reasons why this is one project you shouldn’t undertake without the help of a professional.
Many Americans spend a lot of time and effort in managing their finances. While most are worried about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact their income—whether that’s because they are temporarily furloughed, find themselves suddenly without a job, or watching their investment and retirement accounts dwindle—there is another way COVID-19 can wreak havoc on American’s finances: lack of incapacity planning.
News about the coronavirus is everywhere, and we have all been affected by it in some way, even if we are currently completely healthy. Although it may seem as though circumstances are spinning beyond our control, we are not powerless. There are steps we can take to protect ourselves and our families, both physically and financially.
As the coronavirus continues to disrupt daily life and leave Americans uncertain of the future, you don’t have to feel helpless during this pandemic. In fact, now is a great time to be proactive and plan ahead should you or a loved one fall ill. One of the most important and relatively easy things you can do (and should do) is to select a medical agent and set up your advance healthcare directive.
As of Friday, March 20, the deadline to file tax returns has also been extended by three months. Taxpayers will now have until July 15th to file and pay their 2019 income taxes (up to $1 million).
We are living in unprecedented times right now. Over the last few weeks, I have been getting asked questions about how to plan around the Coronavirus pandemic. This post provides advice on what individuals and families should be doing and thinking about to prepare for the unimaginable.
In 1984, Congress issued a resolution, signed by President Reagan, establishing March 21st as National Single Parent Day: a day devoted to recognizing the dedication of single parents, who make self-sacrificial efforts to care for their children’s needs, and encouraging family members, friends, and communities to help provide an optimal environment for their children. As a single parent, you should feel proud of your efforts to nurture and care for your children. Read this article to learn about a few additional things you can do to provide for your children’s future that you may not have considered.
While everyone is celebrating during this holiday season, the manner of these celebrations can vary based on differing family traditions, religions, and geographic regions. Estate planning is no different—protecting your family’s future must be customized to fit your and your family’s unique needs. No matter your level of wealth, it is important to understand that the reasons for estate planning are universal.
Those of us who work sometimes feel that we are doing our children a disservice. Sure, we bring home a paycheck that benefits our children, but we may miss their activities and other aspects of their daily lives. This can be especially true in two-earner families. But in addition to greater financial security, our jobs provide opportunities for our children to learn many other life skills that they can use throughout their lives.
Unfortunately, a startling 79% of millennials do not have basic estate plans in place. Your needs and goals may vary, but having an estate plan in place is crucial for every adult, including millennials. You do not know what the future holds, and we can help you make sure that plans are in place that not only provide for your own future needs but also those of your loved ones and pets.
Being asked by a family member or close friend to serve as trustee for their trust upon their death can be an incredible honor. At the same time, however, serving as a trustee can be a massive responsibility—and the role is not for everyone. Click on this link to learn if you should take on this role.