Estate Planning

/Estate Planning

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.

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 |2015-10-02T14:37:05-04:00March 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 |2014-04-14T23:30:19-04:00April 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 |2014-03-06T00:13:08-04:00March 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 |2016-11-07T22:34:41-04:00February 7th, 2014|Estate Planning|4 Comments

Everyone has a Default Estate Plan

It is amazing how many people believe that when someone dies without a Last Will and Testament the surviving family (and mistresses) are paraded in front of a judge and possibly even a jury to argue who the decedent loved more.  I hate to burst the bubble of anyone who loves "legal" TV shows but is not what happens.  When someone does without a Last Will and Testament they are said to die intestate and their is an estate plan. What is Intestacy? What is the Default Estate Plan? Intestacy, much like a Last Will and Testament, only controls those assets which do [...]

By |2014-05-27T23:48:33-04:00February 3rd, 2014|Estate Planning|0 Comments