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.

I Can’t Believe I have Been Blogging for 4 Years

On August 5th of 2008 I put up my first post.  I had no idea if anyone would read about my journey, nevertheless care about what was going on in my life, but I wanted to share my thoughts with whoever wanted to read them.  Since putting that first post up I have seen somewhere between 570,000 and 630,000 pageviews (analytics vs sitemeter) and while that is probably a day’s worth of views for a news site I am pretty happy with it, especially since most of the first year or so I was getting under 15 page views a day. I [...]

An Estate Distribution Schedule That I Just Don’t Understand

Today, I was reminded of an Estate Distribution schedule not often found in Last Will and Testaments or Revocable Trusts, but enough to make me question why it would ever be included.  Part of my daily activities at my office is reviewing clients’ and potential clients’ estate planning documents.  Sometimes this includes just a 2 page will, or as in the case today, it can include a husband and wife 15 page Last Will and Testament and two 50 page operating agreements which included buy-sell information.  I can usually find something to bring value to the client or potential client because if [...]

By |2013-09-26T14:55:42-04:00June 12th, 2012|Estate Planning|4 Comments

What is a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust and What Does it Have to do With Facebook?

I am a little late to the story, but I was shocked to learn that a few of the Facebook founders used an estate planning technique known as a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) to help their future heirs save on estate taxes. It is very long term planning considering those mentioned in the article were all relatively (or even objectively) young to take on such an estate planning technique.  I thought this move deserved more hype then the stock going public, but then again I am in the estate planning world lol.  The estate planning attorney or financial professional that got [...]

By |2016-11-08T08:48:57-04:00June 6th, 2012|Estate Planning|1 Comment

What is the Elective Share?

When I am helping a financial planner with an estate distribution schedule one of the first thing I ask is whether “everyone is on the same team?” With that question I am asking whether both spouses have a similar testamentary intent and/or are they aware of each other's testamentary intent?  The reasons that the question is so important is because of the Elective Share also known as a Spouse’s Right of Election.  Black’s Law Dictionary Defines the elective share as, The portion of a deceased person’s estate that a spouse is entitled to claim understate law. The statutory share is usually one-third [...]

By |2013-09-26T14:56:26-04:00March 19th, 2012|Estate Planning|1 Comment

2012 Gift Tax Exemption and Exclusion Amounts

DISCLAIMER: Estate and Gift Taxes are an entire semester at law school and probably for your local accountant as well so this is just a brief introduction into the exemption amounts that are currently Available in 2012.  Even the Internal Revenue Service understands how complicated estate and gift taxes can be come so they have produced Publication 950 appropriately titled Introduction to Estate and Gift Taxes.  Surprising the IRS puts it pretty succinctly, The gift tax applies to transfers by gift of property. You make a gift if you give property (including money), the use of property, or the right to receive [...]

By |2013-09-26T14:56:35-04:00February 15th, 2012|Estate Planning|6 Comments