When you are planning your estate it is likely that you have multiple objectives in mind, and if you're like most people making sure that your loved ones are provided for is at the top of that list. To make sure that your family members get everything that you would like to leave them without allowing a significant portion of their inheritances to go to the IRS you sometimes have to take steps to gain estate tax efficiency. At the present time the estate tax exclusion is $5 million, but if no … [Read more...] about Estate Planning, Philanthropy, & CRUTs
When people debate the fairness of the estate tax the primary argument against it is the fact that it is in and of itself an instance of double taxation. You pay income and payroll taxes, and then you have the remainder which may be as little as 70% of what you actually earned. With this remainder you go forth, and as you do you must pay sales tax, property tax, capital gains tax, and any number of additional taxes. Then when you pass away your estate is taxed yet again, and at an exorbitant … [Read more...] about Estate Tax: Once Bad, Twice Unacceptable
The subprime crisis and financial meltdown certainly has taken its toll on the real estate market, and most areas of the country have made slow strides to recover. But the fact remains that home ownership has traditionally been the foundational instrument of wealth building in the United States and most Americans would likely still tell you that their homes are their most valuable asset. When the market is healthy and appreciation is robust it can certainly make sense to invest a large … [Read more...] about Your Home & Your Estate
Nobody is especially anxious to part with any of their hard earned money and hand it over to the tax man. But in spite of the complaining, most people recognize the fact that some taxation is necessary and are perfectly willing to pay their fair share. What people don't want to do is pay taxes multiple times on the same earnings, and this is one of many reasons there is so much support in some quarters for a permanent repeal of the estate tax. Consider this overly simplified example that … [Read more...] about Estate Planning & Legacy Trusts
The estate tax is repealed for 2010, but when it was last in effect back in 2009, the exclusion was $3.5 million.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
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?
A Lifetime Trust is an Irrevocable Trust that will pay out an inheritance to a beneficiary for the duration of his or her life. Creating individual Lifetime Trusts for your family provides a wealth of benefits. Protect Assets for Minors If your children are currently minors, a Trust is a good alternative to having your child’s inheritance endure a court-supervised guardianship. Individual trusts also allows you to give your children an even split of your estate. Many trusts end when a child … [Read more...] about Benefits of a Lifetime Trust
If you have retirement accounts, you understand the importance of having enough funds to cover your retirement expenses. So, what if you pass away with funds still in these accounts? When you die, your family or other loved ones may inherit your retirement accounts. Make a List First, make a list of all of your retirement funds. Include your 401k, pension plan and IRAs. If you were self-employed, don’t forget to list your self-employed 401K, Keogh plan or other account. Next, include details … [Read more...] about Bequeathing Your Retirement Accounts
Parents of young children often consider establishing a single trust for all their children in the event that both parents die before the children reach a designated age of maturity. This type of trust is frequently referred to as a Pot Trust or a Family Trust. It offers some unique pros and cons for your beneficiaries. An advantage is that the trustee may be given the flexibility to spend the funds in any way he or she sees fit. That means that little Jimmy could have tuition paid to attend a … [Read more...] about What Is A Pot Trust?