Estate Planning

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Estate planning is the preparing of legal documents to carry out your testamentary intent.  Estate planning does not just take into account the high net worth individual who is primarily concerned about estate taxes, but rather planning for everyone’s testamentary intent.   Testamentary intent is what you want to happen when you die.  Notwithstanding, the general definition estate planning can include sophisticated gifting options to reduce one’s taxable estate and avoid or diminish federal and state estate taxes.

A Standard Estate Plan Will Not Work For Second Marriages

Estate planning when a person has been married before or has children from previous marriage is a very difficult subject to undertake, but like most estate planning issues it should not be ignored.  There are a multitude of reasons why a simple estate plan will not work for most second marriages. What is a Simple Estate Plan? and Why does Extra Care Need to be Taken Planning your Estate When There is a Second Marriage? A simple estate plan, which can be commonly referred to as an "I love you will" is a natural distribution wherein everything is passed from the decedent [...]

By | 2017-02-23T14:27:40+00:00 January 14th, 2016|Estate Planning|0 Comments

Most People Should See a Qualified Attorney When Drafting an Estate Plan

I know Warren Buffet has said multiple times, "Never ask a barber if you need a haircut" but this estate planning attorney believes that almost everyone needs a will, and to boot, I think most people should see a qualified attorney to draft the proper documents.  The need stems from the basic premise that most people do not know what they don't know when it comes to the topic of estate planning. A Few Issues that May be Overlooked When Creating An Online Will I think it is safe to say that most people that are creating a will using an online [...]

By | 2015-10-02T14:37:05+00:00 March 10th, 2015|Estate Planning|0 Comments

A Confusing But Common Estate and Life Insurance Decision

I participate in a lot of financial and estate plans, and there is a common distribution technique I never understood.  The worst part, is that it almost always unintentional.  I think most people would would agree that a child who has lost both of his or her parents should not receive money outright, and as such, his or her inheritance should be held in a trust.  The terms of that trust may will vary depending on the age of the parents, age of the children, responsibility of the children, other family dynamics, experiences of the parents, etc., however, most people do not have their [...]

By | 2014-04-14T23:30:19+00:00 April 15th, 2014|Estate Planning|0 Comments

Why Most People Should Be In Favor of the Federal Estate Tax

I think it is a very easy and popular position to be against the federal estate tax (affectionately known as the "death tax").  The arguments against the estate tax range from the simple, "the government should death tax it is hard enough" to the bit more sophisticated, "the decedent was already taxed on all earnings and capital gains."  Despite being a libertarian I think I could even make an argument, albeit a weak one, that there may be societal good in preventing a further concentration of wealth.  It is weak because even with the estate tax there has been an obvious concentration [...]

By | 2014-03-06T00:13:08+00:00 March 6th, 2014|Estate Taxes|0 Comments

When’s the Last time You Reviewed your Beneficiaries?

It isn't often discussed, but estate planning (or lack of estate planning) isn't the only way assets pass to heirs.  A very common way an heir receives assets is pursuant to a beneficiary election or payable upon death contract.  Passing assets via a beneficiary status is not limited to just qualified retirement accounts and life insurance; many banks and brokerage sites will provide you with an option to skip probate and pass the assets directly to a beneficiary.  While beneficiary statuses makes it easy for an heir to inherit property it comes with an added level of responsibility. Everyone Should Review Their [...]

By | 2016-11-07T22:34:41+00:00 February 7th, 2014|Estate Planning|4 Comments