The basketball community and others around the world were thrown into a state of shock when Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others died in a helicopter crash. Death is inevitable for all of us, but when people pass away before their time, the sense of loss is quite profound. From an estate planning perspective, we are not going to get into the specific preparations that any of the victims may or may not have made. The point of this post is to underscore the importance of planning for … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: Bryant Tragedy Serves as a Stark Reminder
COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on all of our lives, and it has given us a lot to think about. One of the lessons learned is the fact that unexpected circumstances can arise at any time, even some things that are absolutely unprecedented. Even though death is one of the inevitable facts of life, statistics show that the majority of American adults do not have estate plans in place. The most recent study that has been conducted indicates that less than half of people that are 55 years of … [Read more...] about Coronavirus Underscores the Importance of Planning
Many of our clients have questions about how they can use their individual retirement accounts advantageously when they are devising their estate plans. There was once a tried-and-true strategy called the “stretch IRA” that could be used to great advantage under certain circumstances. However, this approach is no longer possible because of some changes to the federal laws. We will explain the changes as we go through the details as they stand today. Traditional Individual Retirement … [Read more...] about SECURE Act Has Estate Planning Implications
Before we address the question that serves as the title this blog post, we must provide the necessary background information. We have a federal estate tax in the United States, and it carries a potentially devastating 40 percent maximum rate. The good news is that most people do not have to pay this death levy, because there is a credit or exclusion that is quite high. This is the amount that can be transferred before the estate tax would become applicable. In 2020, the exclusion is $11.58 … [Read more...] about Can You Give Gifts to Avoid Estate Taxes?
Before we address the question that serves as the title this blog post, we should explain why you may want to consider a living trust as the core document in your estate plan. This type of trust is revocable, so if you ever change your mind, you can dissolve the trust and take back direct personal possession of the property. It is unlikely that you will ever want to do so since you are using it as an estate planning device, but this can be comforting for some people. The ongoing control … [Read more...] about Can a Living Trust Be Contested?
COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, has been a challenge confronting countries around the world. Not only has COVID-19 been challenging healthcare systems, but the social distancing required to combat the virus has also rocked financial markets. However, there may be an opportunity for those wishing to do certain types of Estate Planning. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Shrunken Asset Values Open Estate Planning Opportunities
There are inheritance planning tools that can be used to address various different sets of circumstances. You should understand all the facts and make fully informed decisions, especially if you are a parent. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of marriages end in divorce. The figure of 50 percent is often used, and the majority of second and third marriages ultimately fail to withstand the test of time. If you are a parent who has gone through a divorce, and you decide to get … [Read more...] about Estate Planning and Remarriage
The Academy’s Spring Summit conference went “virtual” due to the social distancing requirements to protect all of us. The Summit was different but better than ever. Read on to learn how cutting-edge technology met cutting-edge learning at the Academy’s Virtual Summit. Academy’s Spring Summit Virtually Perfect … [Read more...] about Academy’s Spring Summit Virtually Perfect
COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, has been a challenge confronting countries around the world. The disruptions from the social distancing required to fight the virus have been felt by people around the world. As we mark passing holidays, we reflect on the importance of family. Learn how to share time with family during this pandemic and tackle tasks such as Estate Planning. Families Gather in Novel Ways in Pandemic … [Read more...] about Families Gather in Novel Ways in Pandemic
There are asset protection trusts that can be used to reduce the burden if you are exposed to the federal estate tax, and one of them is the qualified personal residence trust (QPRT). Before we look at the value of QPRTs for people who are looking for tax efficiency, we should explain some things about the tax itself. Every estate is not subject to the estate tax, because you can transfer a certain amount before the tax would become applicable. This figure is called the estate tax credit or … [Read more...] about A QPRT Can Provide Estate Tax Efficiency