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.

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+00:00March 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+00:00February 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+00:00February 3rd, 2014|Estate Planning|0 Comments

What Does the Facebook IPO and the Twitter IPO Have in Common?

There is article after article discussing how the facebook IPO will be different than the Twitter IPO, but I came across an article this weekend from the Wall Street Journal that indirectly indicates how the situation may be similar when it comes to estate tax planning. What does the Twitter and Facebook IPO Have in Common? While Ms. Saunders doesn't make the connection she highlights, The [estate planning] moves could save Messrs. Dorsey, Williams and Costolo a total of at least $115 million, and perhaps far more, in federal estate tax at current rates, assuming a Twitter offering price of at least $28 [...]

By |2016-11-08T08:49:59+00:00October 15th, 2013|Estate Planning|0 Comments

Are You in a Second Marriage? Then You Should Have a Sound Estate Plan

I have had a conversation twice in the same amount of weeks with people in my life about estate planning disasters waiting to happen due to a second marriage.  Neither situation was formed from an initial ill will but both will end very bad and probably not how the testator wanted. Two Examples of How a Second Marriage is Wrecking a Family's Testamentary Intent The first example is probably pretty common in terms of second marriages from a generation ago.  Husband and Wife are married they have 3 children.  Wife passes away approximately 40 years ago.  Husband  remarries a women who has children [...]

By |2013-09-30T11:21:55+00:00September 30th, 2013|Estate Planning|1 Comment