Articles Posted in Wills

In May 2021, the Biden Administration announced its “Green Books” which includes a summary of the administration’s tax proposal. Even though this is just a proposal and not actual legislation, it’s critical to understand that the administration is focused on taxing high net worth individuals at a higher rate than the previous administration. 

 
    Most notably, this proposal does not include an increase in the estate tax or federal gift rates. Several other important proposals, however, would greatly alter the fundamental aspects of estate planning strategies by substantially reworking capital gain taxation regulations. It remains uncertain, however, whether the proposals in this “green book” will end up being passed into legislation. The proposed date at which these measures will become effective is January 1, 2022, though. To better prepare you for what lies ahead, this article reviews some important details to understand about the proposed changes.

 
Treat Gifts of Appreciated Property as Realization Events

If you’re planning on making the most of estate planning, you should focus on what your goals are as well as how you can best achieve them. Life insurance plays a critical role in the estate plans of many people. To make the most of life insurance, however, it’s a good idea to first articulate your goals then consider how life insurance could help you achieve these goals. This article can review some of the most helpful ways that you might decide to use life insurance as part of your estate plan. 

 
Replacing Income

 
    Many people obtain life insurance as a way to replace income and make sure that loved ones still have funds as well as the ability to remain at home. If you’re in your peak earning years, which run from 35 to 55, income replacement is particularly critical to consider. While the risk of death might be low for a person at this age, death has the greatest potential to impact the lives of those around you. There will be a substantial amount of your challenges for your loved one to face if something happens to you. 

Whether it’s the internet or on television, estate planning strategies and offers are common to encounter. Whatever strategy you end up selecting, your intentions should be captured in your estate planning documents. It’s also a good idea that no one takes advantage of you and you do everything possible to avoid participating in a fraudulent estate planning scheme. To better prepare you for the various estate planning scams out there, this article reviews just a few of the most common types of estate planning fraud about which you should be aware. 

# 1 – Imposter Scams

The most expensive type of scam, imposter scams, involves fraudulent individuals who pretend to be someone you trust. This individual then tricks you into transferring over assets or personal information. These scammers are known to threaten arrest or adverse legal action if their orders are not followed. If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be part of a government organization, you should promptly dismiss it as a scam and hang up.  These organizations are not known to make threats over the phone. 

Estate planning is a fundamental aspect of any thought-out financial plan, but when it’s your loved ones who need to create a plan, it can be challenging to discuss this issue. One reason it’s difficult to discuss estate planning with a loved one is that this often involves confronting sensitive issues including that not all of us will live forever. While it’s most common for adult children to help elderly parents with estate planning, this is not always the case. In reality, people of any age who care about one another can help each other with estate planning. If you’re debating navigating the estate planning process with a loved one, there are some helpful pieces of advice that you should remember to follow.

Approach Helping Your Loved One in the Right Way

If a loved one refuses to get his or her estate plan in order, one proven strategy that can help is obtaining the assistance of any financial professionals who your loved one trusts. These professionals can often recommend estate planning attorneys who will be a good match for the needs of your loved one. If your loved one does not have this type of estate planning help in place, you should prepare to attend the first meeting with your loved one’s estate planning attorney to make sure that this proceeds as smoothly as possible. Also, while approaching your loved one about estate planning, you should remember that it’s a good idea to force your loved one into making a decision. Instead, it’s best to take a gentle approach that your loved one considers estate planning.

Transfer on death accounts pass on assets to an appointed beneficiary when the account holder passes away. When you establish a “transfer on death” account, assets pass directly to beneficiaries at the time of the account owner’s death. While assignments of this kind can help to avoid probate, account titling should be coordinated with the account owner’s death, especially when larger accounts and estates are involved. 

 
    While simply titling an account, “transfer on death”, and adding a beneficiary might seem like a good idea, this is not always the case. Transfer on death accounts can easily be set up on investment accounts. The primary benefit to these accounts is that they can easily be transferred to a beneficiary. Another advantage is that beneficiaries can be revised more easily than amending a trust. It’s important to understand, however, that titling an account “transfer on death” does not resolve all of your estate planning needs. Various mistakes can occur with any type of beneficiary designation. As a result, this article reviews some important details to consider if you plan on using a transfer on death account. 

 
# 1 – Life Changes Must Be Addressed

Many people were forced to think about how to adequately manage their estates in 2020. While a will and last testament was for many years the most common estate planning, trusts have grown in popularity. As part of a will, a person must specify how his or her properties should be distributed after that individual passes away, while family trusts are established for either a specific individual or a group of people who are not specifically named. This article reviews some valuable details you should understand in deciding whether a will, a trust, or both a will and trust are right for you.

Critical Differences between Trusts and Wills

While the critical differences with trusts and wills teal with the time when the assets are transferred, some of the  other vital differences between trusts and wills include the following:

As we proceed into 2021 and emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, many fundamental aspects of daily living have been challenged. Among many lessons people learned from the pandemic, one of the most critical ones is the importance of asset protection. Private placement life insurance provides individuals with the opportunity to allocate alternative investments in a tax-efficient manner while creating efficient strategies that do not exist with other life insurance options. Various factors make it an ideal time to consider using private placement life insurance including high lifetime exemptions and attractive federal estate and income tax rates. This article reviews some critical details that you should consider about deciding whether private placement life insurance is right for you.

 How Private Placement Life Insurance Functions

Private placement life insurance trusts are a special type of life insurance that has a high cash value compared to a low death benefit. To minimize fees, the life insurance aspect is kept as affordable as possible, which permits the cash value of the policy to drive death benefits. The purpose behind private placement life insurance trusts is to amass a substantial cash value within a life insurance policy to take advantage of the tax-free handling of income as well as gains from the underlying investments in the policy. 

Many people realize that life insurance can play a valuable role if someone unexpectedly passes away. What a much smaller group of people is that life insurance can play a critical role in estate planning because it can be utilized to provide liquidity when needed. 

With adequate estate planning, insurance proceeds can then be used to pay for things like estate tax. In the hopes that you make the most of life insurance in your estate plan, this article reviews some critical details to remember about utilizing life insurance.

# 1 – Avoid Common Mistakes

Business owners led hectic lives. Understandably, some things on business owner’s “To Do” lists end up getting delayed. Estate planning, however, should not be something that ends up postponed. Not only is estate planning critical for business owners, but some unique issues arise. This article reviews just some of the unique and nuanced issues that business owners often must navigate while estate planning.

# 1 – Unintentional PPP Borrower Change of Ownership

To respond to the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act was signed into law in March 2020. As part of the implementation, the Small Business Administration as well as the Department of Treasury implemented the PPP Program so lenders could loan money to both small and medium-sized businesses to maintain their payroll as well as hire workers who were laid off and cover applicable overhead. These loans are forgiven provided the proceeds are used in accordance with applicable laws.

The Covid-19 pandemic has placed an increased focus on legacy planning because it has highlighted the need to make sure that your estate plan is in order. Besides the fact that more people are realizing the value of adequate estate planning, other advantages like all-time high estate tax exemptions make this an attractive time to engage in estate planning, whether that means creating your plans or finalizing estate planning documents. This article reviews some helpful strategies you should follow to make the most of estate planning.

# 1 – Determine Your Net Worth

The best step to start estate planning is to assess your net worth. Fortunately, it’s often easy to quickly calculate your net worth by adding up the estimate of the value of all of your assets and then subtracting the total of your liabilities. The value of calculating your net worth is that after you’ve determined this value, you will need to assess if your estate will be liable for federal estate taxes. You should also determine if your estate could potentially be subject to inheritance tax.

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