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Deciding Whether to Leave Assets to Your Grandchildren

As you age, it is common to think about the financial well-being of your family, including your youngest family members. This might include not just children, but also grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Assets passed on to these family members can then be used to pay for things like college funds or purchasing a first home.  Deciding whether to pass assets on to grandchildren requires weighing several options. Each family is unique, and when it comes to creating an estate plan to benefit your loved ones, you should consider how to tackle your grandchildren’s needs without creating any subsequent legal challenges or tax burdens.  Trusts Can Prove Particularly Helpful If you have one or more grandchildren who are minors, you might decide to pass assets to a trust. You also might then decide to appoint a person or financial entity to manage the trust for you. Trusts can help permit a person to address their wishes.  Assets Need Not be Distributed Equally If you have multiple grandchildren, you can choose between passing on assets in an equal or unequal manner. Some people decide to pass on the same amount of assets to each grandchild to avoid feelings of jealousy or hurt among [...]

2021-10-18T20:46:52+00:00Tags: , , |

Advice on Avoiding Probate

Many people have heard of probate, and those who have heard of the word likely know that they want to avoid it. You also might be uncertain about why you should avoid probate, as well as what probate entails. Unfortunately, if probate is not properly anticipated, it can be unexpectedly costly as well as time-consuming. Here are some reasons why it can prove advantageous to create assets that bypass probate as well as the downside of what the process entails. What Probate Means Probate is the legal process that occurs after someone passes away. Overseen by a court, probate is a multi-step process. The probate process involves establishing in court that a deceased person’s will is valid and then identifying and inventorying the deceased person’s property. Subsequently, property is assessed to determine its value. Afterward, any outstanding debts or taxes are paid off. Lastly, the remaining assets in the deceased person’s estate will be distributed either according to the terms of a will or according to state law if no will exists or a will has not been established as valid. The probate process involves a substantial amount of paperwork as well as the appearances of lawyers.  The purpose of [...]

Tips to Reduce the Risk of an Estate Planning Crisis

Regardless of what assets you currently, it is a good idea to consider having some legal documents written to address what will happen when you become incapacitated or pass away. All too often, family members are left in a frantic and undesirable situation after a loved one passes away or has a medical crisis. The following are some helpful steps that you can follow to avoid creating an estate planning crisis for your loved ones. Created a Detailed Trust One of the best ways to avoid family disagreements after your passing is to create a living trust, which is a legal document that appoints a trustee, which is someone who will be responsible for your assets when you pass away or become incapacitated.  If you decide not to create a trust, the chances are much greater that your loved ones will end up in a disagreement about who should be responsible for managing your assets. When these matters must be resolved by a court, it results in additional fees for your estate. Your loved ones will have to wait much longer for a resolution and to collect any assets you have left for them.  If you choose to establish a [...]

2021-10-18T20:39:18+00:00Tags: |

Deciding Whether to Update Your Estate Plan

If your life changes for reasons like death, divorce, marriage, or birth, you should make sure to update your estate plan. Unfortunately, while many people appreciate the importance of updating their estate plans, a large number of people fail to do so. While it is tempting to think of written documents as written in stone, in reality, estate planning is an evolving process. After undergoing several life changes, some people find that the terms of their estate plan have changed so much that they no longer fit the creator’s situation. Reviewing your estate plan every few years is one of the best ways to ensure that your needs and goals are met. Review Distribution Terms To make sure that your asset distributions goals are satisfied, you should review the terms found in your last will and testament or revocable trust. These estate planning documents address how your assets will be distributed at the time that you pass away. As your children age, these provisions might need revision based on the particular facts of each child’s circumstances. For example, one child might have special needs or another child might have a gambling addiction and would have a difficult time preserving assets.  [...]

2021-10-18T20:34:38+00:00Tags: |

What You Need to Know About Qualified State Tuition Plans

If you or a loved one plans on contributing money to the education of a child or grandchild, a qualified state tuition plan is an excellent idea to make the most out of your contribution. Each state has certain plans that address how you can tackle contributions including savings plans and prepaid tuition plans. The Role of Section 529 Saving plans involve tax-sheltered contribution techniques which are permitted under the Internal Revenue Code’s Section 529. These plans receive favorable income tax treatment provided withdrawals are used for permissible reasons. Another attractive feature of 529 plans is that they combine five years of annual exclusion gifts to one year. This ability lets the person who creates the 529 plan give minors an early and significant start toward paying for college.  The contributions to 529 plans must be made in cash. If you select an option to make five years of annual exclusion gifts, you will not be able to make other types of contributions to the plan or any other annual exclusion gifts until another four years have passed.  Oklahoma is just one of many states that permit investors to utilize 529 plans. The Internal Revenue Service also now permits the [...]

2021-10-01T19:53:35+00:00Tags: , |