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Four Things to Consider About Holiday Gifting and Estate Planning

We have all received holiday gifts we secretly did not want or that did not fit us at all. In the same way that mistakes are a common occurrence when people gift Christmas presents, mistakes are also common when people make gifts as part of an estate plan. While there are many complex estate planning laws, by mastering them you can maximize the amount of assets that you pass on to loved ones. The following reviews just some of the critical strategies that you should remember to follow if you plan on gifting assets to a loved one this holiday season. Consider Waiting Until Early in the Year Many people gift during Christmas and the end of the year, but in reality, it is better to pass on gifts early in the year. By gifting early, the year’s gains are transferred to the beneficiary’s tax status. Additionally, by gifting early in the year, you make sure that you have ample time to carefully choose and plan the gift. Consider waiting a month or two and avoiding a rushed gift this holiday season. Plan Carefully for Appreciated Assets Many people write checks when making gifts as part of an estate plan, [...]

2020-12-29T21:02:06+00:00Tags: |

Four Critical Steps for Efficient Estate Planning

Estate planning is rarely as easy as people think it will be. Even after appointing the trustee of an estate or a personal representative, there are often other nuanced decisions that must be made about how your estate plan should be handled. Failure to properly address these challenges now could lead your loved ones to face countless obstacles after you pass away or become incapacitated. Fortunately, by completing some additional assignments now, you can avoid many of these obstacles. The following reviews just some of the strategies that you can follow to achieve your estate planning goals. Sign Any Documents You Can Now You should make sure you have signed all of the documents signed by your bank and financial lender that you can now while you are fully competent. Even when power of attorney documents are involved, a person is still required to sign these documents. Signing these documents now increases the odds that the distribution of your assets will proceed as smoothly as possible after you pass away and that your loved ones will receive assets as quickly as possible. Beneficiaries, however, should still be prepared to wait at least six months and often as long as a [...]

2020-12-29T21:01:40+00:00Tags: |

Three Tips on Creating an Estate Plan as the Guardian of a Special Needs Adult

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been forced to confront their mortality. Subsequently, a growing number of people are realizing that estate plans are not just for the extremely old and that it is a good idea to make sure you have an appropriate estate plan in place.  If you are the guardian of a special needs adult, it is particularly important to make sure that your loved one has an estate plan in place. Remember, disabled adults are much more likely than adults without disabilities to have various health complications including heart disease, lung disease, and various types of cancers. As the guardian of a disabled person, you must make sure that you are as prepared as possible to navigate these challenges. Having an estate plan in place is one of the best ways to prepare for these hardships. Advance Healthcare Directives On its most basic level, advance healthcare directives allow a person to select an agent to make decisions on the creator’s behalf regarding healthcare decisions in the case that the creator becomes incapacitated and cannot do so. In the case of a special needs individual, it is a good idea to begin by [...]

2020-12-29T20:50:08+00:00Tags: , |

Advice on Preparing for Year-End Estate Planning 

As the presidential election approached, there was substantial discussion about what estate planning actions should be taken before the end of the year. Behind this decision is the notion that, provided the Democrats win the Presidency and take a majority of the Senate, there very well could be a substantial reduction in both the amount of estate and gift exemptions. The following reviews some critical estate planning issues that you should consider as 2020 comes to a close. Exemptions Will Eventually Change Despite current exemptions, there are still many individuals who have taxable estates. Even if the exemption does not immediately revert, it is still set to switch back to its pre-2018 levels in 2026. Individuals with exempt estates can benefit from making tax-exempt gifts now. For people who would not owe exemptions at death now but who would at the time of their death, it is important to consider that there are multiple ways to structure estate planning transfers, including trusts.  Beneficiaries Can Claim Trusts To transfer assets, you might decide to utilize trusts, but remember that trust beneficiaries can disclaim gifts to trusts. In such cases, trusts can utilize terms for alternative dispositions. Some unanswered questions persist, however, [...]

2020-12-29T20:49:43+00:00Tags: |