Home » Archives for February 2018

Common Trust Mistakes

Many people use living or revocable trusts as part of their estate plans. Trusts are powerful estate planning tools that can help people achieve a variety of goals including avoiding probate and protecting beneficiaries. A large number of trusts are signed and then placed in a deposit box not to be looked at again for many years, which can create unintended obstacles. To make sure that your trust is used in the best manner possible, it is best to remain informed about the most common mistakes involving trusts. Not Properly Titling Assets in the Name of a Trust Because some assets may still be in your name after your death, it is critical to make sure that all assets are properly placed in you trust. In many cases, with the exception of qualified retirement funds, all assets should be transferred into your trust during your life. Assets that are properly placed in your trust will be distributed in accordance with the terms that you used to create your trust. Failing to Properly Update Your Trust It is critical that a person reviews his or her trust at least once a year to make sure that it still satisfies all needs. [...]

2018-03-08T13:14:38+00:00Tags: , |

Eliminating Mortgage Liens Through Bankruptcy

Some people are able to eliminate mortgage liens on their house during bankruptcy in a process referred to as “lien stripping.” It is important for people to know that lien stripping for most liens is only available through Chapter 13 and not Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To strip a lien, it is also required that the amount is not a first portion mortgage and that the value of the house is less than the payoff of the first mortgage. The Different Liens and Which Bankruptcy Chapters Apply There are three different types of liens that a person might want to strip, which include the following: Judicial liens arise from judgments in law suits. Statutory liens encompassed tax liens and property tax liens. Voluntary liens encompass deeds of trust, home equity lines of credit, and mortgages. The only liens that can be stripped through Chapter 7 bankruptcy are judicial liens. If a person files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and wants to keep a house or other asset, he or she will be required to repay all loans secured by the house even if a loan is underwater. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, every kind of lien can be reduced to the value of [...]

The New Estate Tax Law

The new estate tax law in the country doubles the exemptions that are available to a person after death, increasing  the amount to $11 million per person. Additionally, married couples are able to leave a combined $22.4 million worth of property without an estate tax being placed on it. This exemption is also be expected to increase by several hundred thousand dollars each year based on inflation. If estate tax law remains unchanged, however, the exemption will be cut in half beginning in 2026. Reasons to Stick With Your Current Estate Plan If your combined estate presently exceeds $11.2 million or if you expect this amount to be exceeded in the next few years, it is often a wise idea to stick with your current estate plan. You might also have other reasons to keep your current plan including children from former relationships. The best way to determine the advantages and disadvantages of revising your estate plan is to speak with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney who will be able to anticipate exactly how your current plan will be impacted. Estate Planning Issues Related to Trusts There are also new estate planning laws in the country that allow a surviving [...]

2018-02-06T21:54:25+00:00Tags: , , |