One of the most important goals in estate planning is making sure that your assets are properly passed on to your loved ones. 

While irrevocable trusts at first glance might seem like they involve too much control, when utilized in the correct manner, they can be a valuable tool in making sure that your estate planning goals are achieved. 

Even though we all want to do what is best for our loved ones, it is also important to make sure that they realize the full advantage of any assets that you might pass on.

The Supreme Court recently issued a decision in a North Carolina case, which will likely have a limited but substantial impact on estate planning and tax-related issues. 

The case in issue concerned North Carolina’s taxation of Kimberley Rice Kaestner’s 1992 Family Trust for more than $1.3 million between the years of 2005 to 2008. The court later ruled that the state of North Carolina was not able to tax the trust because the only connection to the state that the beneficiaries lived there.

The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Decision

An appellate court in the case of Gonzalez v. City National Bank recently affirmed a probate court’s order that denied a plaintiff’s request after the death of plaintiff’s daughter that the remainder of a special needs trust be distributed to the plaintiff rather than the Department of Health Care Services. 

The distribution was used as reimbursement for Medi-Cal payments for the daughter’s medical care. The court held that the mandatory recovery rules for special needs trusts apply to trust remainders. 

An opinion letter by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services supports the department’s perspective that the Department of Health Care Services is allowed to recover for the daughter’s Medi-Cal expenses. 

Nobody likes talking about what will happen after their death. But it is a universal truth that every one of us will die at some time, which is why it is absolutely critical to create a funeral plan. One of the best ways to make sure that your loved ones have as easy a time as possible following your death is to create a detailed plan addressing end of life issues. 

Unfortunately, a 2017 report by the National Funeral Directors’ Association reveals that only 21 percent of Americans discuss details about their funeral with loved ones. 

While it might sound grim, there are three elements of a funeral: preparing a corpse, holding a ceremony, and handling the internment. The purpose of this article is to review some important steps that you should make sure to follow when planning for what will happen at your own funeral. 

For many individuals, retirement accounts are one of the largest assets that they have to pass on to loved ones throughout estate plan. Without the assistance of a knowledgeable estate planning professional, however, it is very common to make mistakes including with IRA’s. 

In the hopes of helping you avoid future mistakes involving IRAs, this article review some of the most common error. It is important to understand, though, that not even the best advice can replace the assistance provided by an experienced estate planning lawyer.

# 1 – Not Updating Contingent Beneficiaries

There are a number of myths that continue about exactly who needs an estate plan. For example, couples without high value assets can still benefit from estate plans.

Another common myth is that a person who does not have children has no need for estate planning. In reality, it is critical for everyone to create an asset plan to make sure that their wishes are carried out in the way that they deserve.

This article examines some of the important reasons why you should make sure to consider engaging in estate planning even if you do not have children.

Many people are familiar with the concept of “power of attorney”, but less have an idea about these documents operate. A power of attorney is used to give one or more individual the power to act on your behalf or as your agent in case something happens to you.

The powers granted through a power of attorney document can be limited in nature to specific activities or can a broad range of abilities. The powers granted through a power of attorney document can also be either temporary or permanent in nature.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the common misconceptions that people have about power of attorney documents and how they operate.

Most people are familiar with the concept of power of attorney even if they are not familiar with the various nuances associated with the estate planning process.

Power of attorney allows a person to appoint another individual as an agent who will make financial and health care cases in cases the person who created the document becomes incapacitated.

There are actually several different types of power of attorney documents. Fo example, durable powers of attorney which allows an individual to appoint someone to make financial decision, while contingent powers of attorney become effective once a person becomes incapacitated.

Even after divorce, it is still important to get together with the people we love and value and the most.

The families of divorced parents, however, discover that these events are often stressful and that there is a substantial chance negative emotions can get in the way. When former spouses are capable of working together peacefully, however, these gatherings can be a part of any important event.

As a result, this article lists some of the tips and suggestions that you should follow to make sure that the process of family get togethers continues as easily as possible following a divorce.

As estate planning professionals, we encounter a number of situations and are very familiar with the most common types of estate planning errors that people make.

No matter if these mistakes are the result of laziness or lack of care, errors in estate planning have the potential to create a number of substantial obstacles. For example, if a will is declared invalid, your estate might be administered in a way that does not conform with your wishes.

Hopefully by reviewing some of the most common types of estate planning mistakes in this article, you will be able to avoid them.

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