You should consider the finer details when you are planning your estate, but many people adopt an overly simplistic viewpoint. They reduce the matter to the creation of a will, and they leave it at that. Any estate plan is better than none at all, but this is a very profound final act of giving, and it should be given the proper attention. With this in mind, let’s look at three important estate planning details that are often overlooked. Letter of Last Instructions The written word is … [Read more...] about Attend to These Estate Planning Details
For the most part, inheritances are not subject to taxation. Inheritors do not have to report their bequests when they file their regular income tax returns, and appreciated assets get a step-up in basis for capital gains purposes. This means that an inheritor does not have to pay capital gains tax on appreciation that took place during the life of the decedent. There is a federal estate tax that can be applicable, but there is an exclusion that can be used to transfer a certain amount of … [Read more...] about Adjustment Will Increase Estate Tax Exclusion in 2021
At this time of year, the benefit programs for seniors announce their inflation-adjusted parameters for the following year. We have shared some information about Social Security in a previous post, and we promised a follow up with the Medicare numbers when they become available. That time is now, so we will look at the 2021 Medicare premium and deductibles here. But before we get there, we are going to start with an explanation of retirement credits. Eligibility Is Not Guaranteed Some … [Read more...] about An Overview of 2021 Medicare Premiums and Deductibles
Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks and for appreciating your family and friends. In particular, it can be a good time to thank those people whom you’ve asked to serve in important roles in your estate plan. Thank your agents under your powers of attorney and your successor trustees. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about A Time for Thanks and Community
The November elections are over. What was the outcome of the election? What changes could come about as a result? What do those possible changes mean for your estate plan? Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about What the 2020 Election Could Mean for Your Estate Plan
Everyone had eyes on the election at the top of the ticket. But other races and state propositions may have had as much impact on people’s lives. California’s Proposition 19 is an example of this. It alters how property taxes are capped in California. Read on to learn more about Proposition 19 and the planning you could do now before Proposition 19 would go into effect in February 2021. Read on to learn more … [Read more...] about Planning for California’s Proposition 19
The world is an unusual place. Things you’d never expect to happen sometimes actually do happen. There are natural disasters and unusual phenomenon. It’s important to prepare, not just for the unexpected but the eventual, as well. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Preparing for the Unexpected…and the Eventual
This is the second installment of the two-part series that we are sharing to explain scenarios that would call for the utilization of a trust. Probate Avoidance If you use a will to state your final wishes, the executor would not be able to distribute assets to the inheritors independently without supervision. The will would be admitted to probate, and the probate court would preside over the process. A notice is posted for creditors during probate, and they are given time to come forward. … [Read more...] about When Is a Trust Necessary (Part 2)?
There are a number of different scenarios that would call for the utilization of a trust instead of a simple will. In this post, we will look at three of them, and we will follow up with some of the other reasons why trusts should be used in our next entry. Remarriage Situations When you are getting remarried, you may have concerns about the inheritances that you want to leave to your children from your previous marriage. This can be especially sensitive if you are very successful financially … [Read more...] about When Is a Trust Necessary (Part 1)?
You can sometimes learn from mistakes that are made by others. With this in mind, we will look at some of the common estate planning errors that are made so you can steer clear of them. Failure to Consider Long-Term Care Costs When you have been fully capable all of your life, it can be hard to envision a time when you will need help with your activities of daily living. This is understandable, but if you visit the LongTermCare.gov website, you will see that 70 percent of seniors will need … [Read more...] about These Estate Planning Errors Can Be Costly