The estate tax is repealed for 2010, but when it was last in effect back in 2009, the exclusion was $3.5 million. The exclusion stood at $2 million from 2006 through 2008. In 2011 the estate tax exclusion is going to be just $1 million, so a lot of estates that had been under the exclusion for years are now going to be exposed to the estate tax. Home ownership has long been the foundational wealth building vehicle in the United Estates, and many of the people who are now going to be exposed … [Read more...] about A QPRT Could Be The Solution
In this modern era it is not uncommon for women to accumulate significant assets of their own during their lifetime, and when they pass away they’ll want to leave those assets to their loved ones. In addition to the fact that women are accumulating more of their own assets, on average a woman’s life expectancy will be longer than a man’s. When you combine this with the fact that women usually marry men that are older, there is a good chance they will inherit assets, too. Some additional … [Read more...] about Women Should Have an Estate Plan Too
Even if your original retirement plan is as a couple, it might be a good idea to consider the possibility that you could become a widow at some point during your retirement. According to statistics, 80% of women outlive their husbands by an average of 14 years. When you take these figures into consideration, you may possibly have a decade or more that you will have to live as a widow. Outliving your husband is a real possibility, and for this reason, as a couple you should approach retirement … [Read more...] about Planning for Retirement as a Widow
Have you ever wondered about the lives of your ancestors? Many of us have and it is not uncommon for people to spend considerable time and money trying to trace back their roots with varying degrees of success. When you are planning your estate you prepare to pass down things of monetary value to your loved ones, and there is no doubt that remembering your family in this way is very meaningful to them. But you and you alone have another valuable gift that you can choose to give to your loved … [Read more...] about Consider Your Life Story As Part Of Your Legacy
The details of our lives are constantly evolving. So in a very real sense estate planning is an ongoing process rather than a single event. A plan that makes sense for you today may not be appropriate five, ten, or twenty years from now. There are many strategies that can be utilized in a well drafted estate plan depending on the specifics of your situation. When you prepare an estate plan you should do so recognizing that you should revisit it over time. Life insurance is one such tool in an … [Read more...] about The Importance Of Life Insurance
When you are busy living your life you may not think too much about your estate and how you would like your assets distributed. If it does cross your mind, you may recognize the fact that you do need to engage in estate planning at some point in time, but feel as though it is too soon to concern yourself with it. That is a mistake. As soon as you are a self supporting adult you should have a basic estate plan in place, and if you have children it is all the more important. One misconception … [Read more...] about Who Needs An Estate Plan?
If you are the owner of a small business you know that one of the keys to long term success is a solid and well conceived business plan. It is challenging to make it on your own and it takes a lot of focus, so most business owners are thoroughly engaged in the present as they work hard to actualize the plan. When some time passes and you look around and recognize the fact that you have gotten over the hump and that your business is going to make it is a very satisfying feeling. But what's … [Read more...] about Small Business Owners & Succession Planning
Setting up a plan for possible disability is a vital part of estate planning. As you set forth your disability wishes, you will have the opportunity to determine how your medical and financial needs will be looked after if you become mentally incapacitated. There are many benefits to creating a separate financial and medical power of attorney. Different Agents By keeping your powers of attorney apart, you can choose different agents for each purpose. For example if your spouse is best with … [Read more...] about Creating Separate Powers of Attorney
A Revocable Living Trust is an excellent estate planning tool for those who want to avoid probate and keep their estate private. Did you know, however, that your Living Trust is not safe from creditors, divorcing spouses and negligence lawsuits? Why Not When you create a Revocable Living Trust, you will remain as the Trustee and Beneficiary until you pass away or suffer a mental disability. If you become disabled, your successor trustee will step-up, while you remain simply as the beneficiary. … [Read more...] about Is Your Revocable Living Trust Protected?
When creating your Last Will and Testament it is important to follow all of the necessary steps to ensure that it will be valid and legally binding. List Your Assets The first step of any estate plan is to list all of your assets. These are the items you intend to leave to your beneficiaries. There are some items, such as Payable on Death accounts or life insurance, that will generally not but subject to the terms of your Will. For assets that you do not want to subject to the time and cost … [Read more...] about A Checklist for Your Will