Articles Tagged with manhattan estate plan

For most people going through estate planning, the goal is to pass on as many assets and as much wealth as possible. Most people don’t engage in estate planning with the goal of paying the most taxes possible or distributing assets to creditors. In fact, creditors can take a bigger chunk out of your assets than taxes can, so if you want to avoid costly claims during your lifetime and upon death that could significantly impact your estate it is important to take proactive steps to protect your assets from creditors as part of a comprehensive estate planning strategy.

In fact, there are several strategies that could help you save on taxes while keeping your assets secure from creditors, though it is important to make sure that whichever actions you choose comply with the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act that covers the transfer of assets in an attempt to defraud existing creditors. Some options for protecting your assets from creditors that comply with the provisions of this act might include:

Gifting

A recent article from WealthManagement.com about potential changes to the federal estate tax may have important implications for you in the near future. While no specific plan has been presented, it is important to continuously evaluate your estate plan and stay abreast of any potential changes to the law that could affect your assets.

What is the federal estate tax?

The federal estate tax, sometimes disparagingly referred to as a death tax, is a tax imposed on your right to transfer property valued over a certain amount that kicks in when assets are distributed to heirs according to a Decedent’s will or intestate succession in the case of death without a valid will in place. The threshold for exempt estates changes year-by-year according to a formula approved by Congress. Basically, upon death an estate is appraised and given a value from which certain deductions can then be made. Once such eligible deductions are made, a “Taxable Estate” value remains. For Decedent’s passing in 2017, the federal estate tax only applies to estates with a taxable value of $5,490,000 or more. If a Decedent’s estate has a leftover exemption value – in other words, if a Decedent’s estate is less than the threshold for the year in which the death occurs – and leaves behind a surviving spouse, the remainder of the Decedent’s exemption may be passed on to the surviving spouse which could result in a higher exemption for that spouse. There are several other complex provisions related to how an estate is given its taxable value that an experienced estate planning attorney can help you understand.

A Living Trust is an estate planning vehicle that helps you avoid probate by transferring property to the people and charities of your choice. The assets are held in the trust’s name and not in the name of the individual. For this reason, it is important to appropriately name the trust.

The Importance of a Name

Trust names are important to consider because in order for a trust to legally hold the assets or property, the trust has to be identifiable by its formal name. This name must be distinct and separate from your name.

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