Schedule an in-office, Zoom or phone consultation Here.

In the last few decades, the rate of divorce among middle-aged as well as older people in this country has risen. Studies of the issue have discovered that in recent history, the divorce rate for people over the age of 43 in the country has substantially increased. This increase in divorce is even more noticeable when focused exclusively on “gray divorce”, which involves people between the ages of 55 to 64. 

Regardless of what caused this increase, the increase in the number of these divorces has raised some special considerations that should be analyzed concerning divorces. This article touches on just a few of those considerations.

Spousal Support

When considering whether to dispute a person’s will, you should review what factors exist that might suggest a successful basis for challenging the will. While these are an almost unlimited number of factors that exist, some particularly common issues arise concerning wills and resulting challenges.

# 1 – Last-Minute Changes

One of the most commonly encountered situations is when a deceased person executed a will close to the end of life that substantially alters their estate plans. When a will is drafted, an individual who wants to challenge the document should inspect several things to decide whether the document is valid. For estate planning documents created near the end of a person’s life, a detailed analysis should be made regarding whether the person had the adequate mental capacity to execute the document. 

New York’s estate tax cliff can lead to heirs in the state paying estate tax at a rate that surpasses 100%. The existing per-person New York state estate tax exemption is $6.11 million. This is the amount that a person can pass on to heirs at his or her time of death without being obligated to pay New York state estate taxes.

Provided a person’s taxable estate falls into the “Estate tax cliff range”, which occurs between $6.11 million and $6.711 million in 2022, a person falls off the estate tax cliff in New York state, and the amount surpassing the exemption is taxed at a rate greater than 100%. Fortunately, various solutions exist to this challenging situation. 

Utilizing Charitable Bequests

The estate planning start-up, Wealth, is pursuing a $180 billion U.S. market by utilizing a digital dashboard that updates holdings in real-time. Many technology companies have offered potential approaches to solving these issues ranging from WillMaker to EverPlans. The CEO of Wealth has stated that he believes his company is pursuing a more unique strategy by appealing to workers that want to offer more value-added benefits.

The Company’s Founding

The company was founded by the former CEO of the company Emailage, which has since been acquired by LexisNexis. The assets from such a sale allow individuals to create, manage, and visualize estate plans through a detailed ecosystem of proprietary legal documents as well as third-party APIs.

If you’re creating a plan for what will happen to your estate after you pass away or become incapacitated, you’ve likely familiar with the advantages you can realize by creating a living trust. Items positioned in a trust do not pass through probate, which can be a costly and time-intensive process. Living trusts (also referred to as revocable trusts) let a person appoints a trust administrator to look after an estate after the creator passes away. 

Living trusts often simplify how assets in estates are passed on. Unfortunately, countless opportunities exist to make errors, especially if you’re tasked with transferring items to a trust. Certain kinds of accounts should never pass into a trust.  These certain accounts should not pass into a trust even in situations where they represent the majority of an estate. This category includes retirement accounts like 401(k) plans as well as other types of retirement accounts. 

If you pass on assets to a trust, the Internal Revenue Service will classify the interaction as a distribution and you will be required to pay income taxes.

In the recent case of MBM Family Trust, one party initiated legal action against another concerning a foreign judgment. The party who initiated the lawsuit later added a trustee of a trust that the plaintiff claimed helped the defendant conceal assets. The trustee pursued a special appearance and argued over personal jurisdiction.

Ultimately, the trial court did not accept this object. Instead, the trustee appealed. On appeal, the court found that claims intended to recover assets from a trust can only be brought against the trustee who is the trust’s legal representative. 

The appellate court commented that the trial court had evidence that the family trust was a lender and that the trustee stepped in to function as the lender of a home equity line. The home equity line of credit provided the line of credit was secured by a deed of trust to the trustee and apart from the home equity line. 

Estate planning relies on a countless number of assumptions. One assumption is that assets only flow in one direction: from older person to younger person. In reality, this does not always have to be the case. By making the most of some unconventional estate planning techniques, people can realize some tax and estate planning advantages. This is where the concept, of “reverse estate planning” comes in.

Some adult children who have more assets than parents and can help take care of the older generation. In these cases, reverse estate planning can play a valuable role. This is particularly true when parents will not be able to use the entirety of their estate and gift tax exemptions. This is just as true if a parent is in a lower tax bracket than their child. 

Tax Advantages through Reverse Estate Planning

Estate planning is not written in stone. Instead, estate plans should be reviewed and reconsidered when various major life events occur. This article reviews some of the big life changes that should cause you to review the terms of your estate plan. This article reviews some of the things you should consider reviewing after these changes happen. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about revisions to your estate plan, one of the best things you can do is speak with an experienced attorney.

Marriage

Marriage involves the combination of two lives. Understandably, your estate plan should be revised following a marriage to reflect this change. This will likely mean adding your new spouse’s name to insurance policies and estate planning documents. You should also take the steps necessary to revise your status on your will, trusts, and deeds. 

Even if you’ve already abandoned your New Years’ resolution, you should still do your best this year to focus on your loved ones and what’s best for your future. One of the best things that any of us can do during times of uneasy political or economic times is to focus on what’s important. Your planning for what lies ahead should understandably address critical issues like what happens if you become incapacitated or unexpectedly pass away. This article reviews some of the basic frameworks that you should start (or revise) your estate plans in 2022.

Critical Questions to Ask About the Status of Your Estate Plans

Some of the important issues that you should ask about the status of your estate as you decide the strength of your estate plan include:

You might have considered utilizing a living trust. Often, these trusts are a good idea if a person wants to maintain assets for loved ones without subjecting assets to significant taxes or probate.

In reality, however, people often forget a whole range of other types of trusts including revocable and irrevocable living trusts. The type of trust you utilize can make a big difference in the outcome of your estate. Pick the right type of trust and you can really simplify the estate planning process. Pick the wrong trust and you can end up facing a range of complications.

Revocable means revisable, while irrevocable means a person cannot later changes a trust’s terms barring a few exceptions. A revocable trust lets the trust creator modify the trust at some later date. With irrevocable trusts, a person lacks the ability to modify the terms of the trust. 

Contact Information