Articles Posted in Asset Protection

One of the common responses that many people have as they learn about estate planning is that there are a number of estate planning documents. In addition to things like wills, living wills, advance directives and powers of attorney, there also also a number of other important documents.

In New York there are Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) forms. This article briefly reviews what MOLST forms do and situations where you might need one of these documents.

The Role of MOLST Forms

An appellate court recently reversed in part and affirmed in part the judgment of the Court of Appeals concerning a decision by the Comptroller of the Treasury to include the value of a marital trust in an estate in a tax assessment. The trust contained qualified terminable interest property that was reported on the deceased individual’s federal tax return but was excluded from the estate’s Maryland estate tax return. The Court of Special Appeals held that the Comptroller lacked the authority to tax the trust assets as part of the Maryland estate.  The appellate court, however, found that after the death of the deceased person’s spouse, the qualified trust assets were transferred on her death and that the transfer of the property was subject to Maryland estate tax.

A marital trust is a particular type of irrevocable trust that is designed to hold a deceased spouse’s assets that are greater than the amount capable of being protected from death taxes. Rather than be taxed at the time of the death of the first spouse to pass away, assets are not taxed until the second spouse dies. As a result, if the second spouse has limited financial means, marital trusts can play an invaluable role.

The Three Types of Marital Trusts

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in Northport Health Services v. Posey recently reversed a lower court’s decision to grant summary judgment in a wrongful death action. One son in the Posey family in this case had signed the admission agreement of his brother at a resident rehabilitation center owned by Northport, which included an arbitration agreement. Northport then sought to compel arbitration and the district court granted this motion. The brother then appealed claiming that the district court misapplied the third-party beneficiary theory to the case because there was no underlying agreement between the Posey family and Northport. 

Making the decision to place a loved one in a rehabilitation center after they are in the hospital can be a difficult decision. Reviewing the associated terms of any agreements concerning a loved one’s care are just one of the many things that you should make sure to do. Fortunately, by following the advice below, this process can be made much easier. 

# 1 – Plan for Discharge as Soon as Possible

To create the best possible estate plan, it is critical to not only tell your advisor important information about your case. It is also critical to be honest. Failure to honestly disclose information about your financial status can lead to a number of serious complications and can sometimes even require your advisor to perform estate planning all over again. Unfortunately, there are a number of important things that people forget to disclose their estate planning advisor, which is why this article will list some of the important things that you should remember to mention.

# 1 – Family Issues

Many people with challenging family issues can find these matters difficult to discuss even though they have the potential to greatly interfere with a person’s estate plans. Often, an experienced estate planning attorney can help create estate plans that take these issues into considerations. For example, in situations where a person has an adult child with substance abuse, it might be possible to create a trust or other type of estate planning device to pass assets to the child. In deciding whether details should be disclosed to an estate planning lawyer, it is important to inform an estate planning advisor about any former spouses, any child support that you pay, any existing legal agreements in your family, or any relationships that you might have that could lead to financial obligations.

If you are still single and do not have children, it is common to have not thought much about money. If you are also coming closer to retirement, however, it is a wise idea to begin to consider estate planning. This article reviews some of the important elements that you should consider if you are estate planning and a single adult.

# 1 – Create a Trust

While a single person is still alive, they will be the primary beneficiary of a trust. It is important, however, to name beneficiaries who will receive assets after your death. If beneficiaries are young, however, it might be a wise idea to hold the assets in a trust until the beneficiaries are old enough to handle finances themselves. In these situations, it is also important to select a trustee who will manage these assets in case you are not able to do so on your own. If you are a single individual who is engaged in estate planning, it is critical to appoint an experienced trustee who can make sure that your assets are properly controlled and transferred.

It is important to parents and grandparents who are engaged in estate planning to consider the various challenges that can arise. Failure to properly take these issues into consideration can result in estate plans being jeopardized. Fortunately, in these situations, it is possible to decant a trust. This article explores exactly what decanting is and some of the reasons why people to decide to decant a trust.

Decanting a Trust in New York

For many years, estate planning involved irrevocable trusts which mean that even if a trust creator’s situation changed, it was still impossible to modify the trust. In recent years, however, many states have created “decanting” statutes that allow broken trusts to be modified. During the “decanting” process, a person laces assets in an inadequate irrevocable trust into a new irrevocable trust that has more adequate provisions. The nature of decanting statutes changes between changes. In accordance with New York law, an authorized trustee who has unlimited discretion over principal located in trust has the ability to appoint these assets into another trust. To move trusts in this manner, a person is not required to obtain consent of the beneficiaries and can do so without a court order.

After learning about IRAs, one of the most common questions that people ask is what is the difference between the various types. As a result, this article reviews some of the primary differences between Roth and traditional IRAs.

The Primary Difference between the Two Types of IRAs

With traditional IRA accounts, the money that a person contributes to their account is not considered part of their taxable income for that year. Instead, once money is placed into a traditional IRA account, the amount is capable of growing without being taxed in the way that other types of traditional income are. Instead, the amount that is placed in a traditional IRA is taxed when a person withdraws money from the account and is taxed at whatever your ordinary income tax rate is in that year. A person, however, does not receive a deduction for contributions to a Roth IRA. Instead, income tax is placed on money that is then placed into the account where the amount grows in a manner similar to traditional IRA accounts.

Estate planning involves a number of personal decisions. The best estate plans are personalized to the individual that writes them. This is why online, one size fits it all estate planning documents are often not the best idea. This is also why some people struggle to complete their estate planning goals. Even if you do not have children, it is still absolutely vital to create an estate plan because it can help achieve a number of other goals, which are discussed in this article.

# 1 – Incapacity Issues

Every adult should have an advance healthcare directive as well as a power of attorney regarding financial and legal decisions. These documents help to make sure that a person is taken care of in case they become incapacitated and can no longer care for themself. If you become incapacitated without having any estate planning documents in lace, your loved one will be required to make decisions that they think are in your best interests. Ideally, the person that is named to act in this role should be someone that you trust to make sure your wishes are fully carried out as well as an individual who is capable of weather even the most difficult decisions.

It is never easy to estate plan. For one, estate planning involves uncomfortable decisions about how your assets will be divided following your death. Estate planning, however, is critical because it avoids a number of serious obstacles including family disputes, additional taxes, and the probate process. Despite the potential to solve the numerous problems that would otherwise, some people still believe that estate planning should only be performed by the extremely wealthy. Instead, estate planning tools including trusts can be a particularly valuable tool for individuals. As a result, this article examines some of the advantages that people frequently realize by creating trusts.

# 1 – Trusts Help Outline How Assets Are Received

One of the primary benefits of creating trusts is that they allow individuals to exercise control over how their assets are divided following their death. By spelling out exactly how assets should be divided, a person can avoid any unnecessary disputes that might later arise among family members. When younger children are involved, trusts are capable of outlining the age and condition that children must be to receive assets.

personal representative named in a Last Testament is allowed to be an out of state resident only if that individual is a blood relative or a relative through an existing marriage. If a representative does not satisfy this criteria, a person is still able to use an alternative to estate administration in the form of a trust. There are several important things that a person should consider when determining who should act as their personal representative.

Tip # 1 – Trust the Person that Is Chosen

The person that is selected to act as a personal representative must have the ability to complete a task accurately and efficiently. This element is important because personal representatives are given the duty of financial responsibility over a person’s estate. As a result, the person chosen to act as personal representative should have displayed the ability to be trustworthy through other examples in their life.

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