People sometimes make assumptions about estate planning that are based on misunderstandings. There are many reasons for this, and terminology is one of them. Some of the terms that are often used sound similar, but in actuality, they are not synonymous. We will look at some of them in this post. Living Trust and Living Will Everyone knows that a simple will is a document that is used to express your choices with regard to the way your estate will be distributed after your passing. You make … [Read more...] about Overlapping Estate Planning Terms Can Be Confusing
You should definitely know the basic facts about probate when you are making your estate planning decisions. In this post, we are going to focus on shortcuts that can circumvent the full process. However, we will start with a broad overview to help you see a complete picture. Estate Administration Most people assume that they should use a will to record their final wishes. This is certainly an option, and you name an executor when you are drawing up the document. They will administer the … [Read more...] about Are There Any Connecticut Probate Shortcuts?
Far too many people are going through life without estate plans in place, and sometimes an unexpected event will provide a wake-up call. For most of 2019, no one would have ever thought that intensive care units would be overflowing in just a few months. The pandemic was an enormous shock on many levels, but from an estate planning preparedness perspective, it did not have much of an impact. In fact, the numbers have gone in the wrong direction. Caring.com has been conducting annual … [Read more...] about Did the Pandemic Spur Incapacity Planning Awareness?
The stepped-up basis is a term that applies to inheritances and capital gains taxes. We will take a look at it in this post, and we will provide a succinct taxation overview. Appreciated Assets Let’s say that your grandfather passes away, and he leaves you 1000 shares of stock that are worth $500 each. He had a good eye for the market, and he purchased the stock many years before his death when it was going for $50 a share. Your grandfather paid $50,000 for the stock, and while he was … [Read more...] about What Is a Stepped-Up Basis?
If you want to save money for a loved one to use to pay for college, you should consider a 529 college savings plan. From an estate planning perspective, this type of plan can be ideal if you want to set aside resources for a grandchild or great-grandchild. Tax Benefits There are considerable tax benefits if you take maximum advantage of a 529 plan. Before distributions are made, the earnings are not subject to income taxes. The distributions are tax-free as well as long as the money is used to … [Read more...] about How Does a 529 College Savings Plan Work?
A lot of people think that estate planning is a one-way street. You decide how you want to distribute your assets, and you express your wishes in writing. The beneficiaries will have to accept your decisions, and when they receive their inheritances, they are on their own. This is certainly one approach, and it can work out perfectly well for some families. At the same time, there can be extenuating circumstances. An asset transfer method that can be perfectly acceptable for one person may … [Read more...] about Adapt Your Estate Plan to Accommodate Individual Beneficiaries
Your individual retirement account is ostensibly supposed to serve as a nest egg that you draw from during your senior years. However, there may be a significant amount left in the IRA after your passing. To account for this, you name a beneficiary when you establish the account. A spouse beneficiary can roll it over into their own account or retitle it as an inherited account. If someone other than your spouse is the beneficiary, there is no roll over option. Traditional vs. Roth … [Read more...] about IRA Estate Planning: What Should a Beneficiary Expect?
If you are wise, you will establish a will or trust when you are a relatively young adult. The plan will be tucked away somewhere for safekeeping, and it is out of sight and out of mind. Along the way, you may take certain actions without considering the implications in light of your existing plan. The intentions can be good, but the outcome can be problematic at the end of the day. With this in mind, we will look at five ways that you can unintentionally create difficulties. Give Gifts … [Read more...] about Five Ways You Can Unintentionally Unravel Your Estate Plan
There are 12 states in the union that have state-level estate taxes. In all of these states, there is a certain amount that can be transferred tax free. This is represented by the credit or exclusion, and the remainder would potentially be subject to taxation. Connecticut is one of these 12 states, but there is a silver lining. Our exclusion is the highest in the country among the states that have state-level estate taxes. It stands at $9.1 million this year, so you have a significant … [Read more...] about Out of State Estate Taxes Can Impact Your Estate
When you plan your estate, you make conscious decisions about the way that your monetary assets will be transferred after you are gone. A lot of people think that estate planning boils down to the creation of a will, but there are other ways to transfer assets. Personalized Planning There are different approaches that can be taken, and the right way to proceed will depend on the circumstances. For example, let’s say that you have someone with a disability on your inheritance list, and they … [Read more...] about What Is Estate Planning?