Sample Case Study: Client in their mid 80’s with an estate of approximately $9,000,000. Children are three daughters in their early 60’s. Two of the three daughters have received substantial help (+/- $500,000 from the parents over the past 30 years). The third daughter has received little or no help as she has been financially successful and responsible. The two daughters that … [Read more...] about Should You Distribute Your Estate Equally Among Children In Unequal Circumstances?
If you are in a second marriage, did you have children from your first marriage? What happens when your spouse has children that you have grown fond of? How do you treat children from a prior marriage versus the children in a current marriage? The best solution is to create Trust(s) for the benefit of all those you want as beneficiaries. Once you have your Trust(s) established, you should … [Read more...] about Creating a Trust for the Benefit of Children from a Second Marriage
The basic idea of a Qualified Domestic Trust or QDOT (normally built into most revocable living trusts) is to avoid the forced payment of estate taxes on the death of the first spouse with a large estate, where the intended recipient is a surviving spouse who is a non-U.S. citizen. Keep in mind that the following persons still enjoy an exemption from estate taxes on the first $5.54M in assets … [Read more...] about Qualified Domestic Trusts (QDOT)
Only a Trust Avoids the Probate Process In California, a probate process will need to be initiated in order to administer the estate if the decedent passed with no estate planning at all or only a Will. Probate is a Court-Supervised process that involves a 6-9 month minimum process (more often 15 months or more) in order to properly transfer assets from a decent to beneficiaries. Please … [Read more...] about Administering an Estate through Probate With or Without a Will
When someone dies, one of the first questions that close relatives usually have is whether they are personally responsible to pay the credit card bills of the decedent. They may even start getting telephone calls from creditors asking them to pay outstanding balances. Close relatives may also want to know: Who is responsible for paying the mortgage of the decedent? If they are entitled to … [Read more...] about Can a Creditor Go After Non-Probate Assets?
Some common myths about doing your own Estate Plan. MYTH: I have chosen a godparent for my children, so it is not necessary for me to nominate a legal guardian for them in case something happens to me. FACT: Traditionally, the role of a godparent is to faithfully assist the godchildren in leading a spiritual and moral life. It is not a nomination or appointment to become the child's … [Read more...] about Common Myths About Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning
Planning for Long-Term Care and Asset Protection The Risks of Failing to Plan You can't avoid it forever. The truth is, most of us are going to face unthinkable hardships as we age. Perhaps the most feared adversity seniors face is dementia. A disorder that degrades brain function one piece at a time and robs you of the life you know. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's. In the … [Read more...] about Legal Strategies and Planning for Long-Term Care and Asset Protection
Adding Children to Title of Real Property or Other Significant Assets May Create Problems People often have their own ideas of the easiest way to pass on their homes or other property to their children when they pass away. Later on, they may seek the services of an attorney to help them prepare a more comprehensive estate plan, such as a Revocable Living Trust. It is not that unusual for … [Read more...] about Adding Children to Title of Real Property
Written by Greg Reese, President / CEO AmeriEstate Legal Plan, Inc. Question: How much is the allowable gift and estate tax lifetime exemption amount for 2016? Answer: the 2016 gift and estate tax lifetime exemption for 2016 will increase from $5,340,000 in 2015 to $5,450,000 per individual (or $10,900,000 for a married couple). Question: What is meant by the “exemption … [Read more...] about 2016 Estate & Estate Tax Planning
A trusted expert resource in the most difficult of times AmeriEstate has the expertise and compassion necessary when a loved one has died or is experiencing a significant loss of health. Our experts know how to come alongside you and your family during this transitional time and ease the complex financial and emotional issues of trust administration. When there is a loss of a loved one, it can … [Read more...] about Trust Administration