Which is the right Trust for you and your family? One of the key goals of estate and Trust planning is to avoid federal estate taxes. Careful estate planning can eliminate a significant estate tax burden for surviving spouses and their beneficiaries. Any of the Trusts below can be useful tools in preserving an estate's assets. But which Living Trust is right for you? Credit Shelter Trusts (A/B … [Read more...] about What Type of Living Trust Should I Have?
Valuation of Cash or Financial Assets Valuation of Cash or Financial Assets is determined by providing an independent statement such as from a Bank, Brokerage, Insurance Company or other financial institution. Valuation of Tangible Personal Property In general, if the value of any item of Tangible Personal Property exceeds $5,000 then, a value must be established by reliable written … [Read more...] about Issues Regarding Valuation of Cash and Non-Cash Assets in Estate Planning
Only you and your spouse typically know where information about all your banking, bills, accounts, doctors, debts, etc. is located. By listing the details of your life, such as property, personal information and finances on one document, you can greatly assist those who may end up taking care of you in the event of illness, or taking care of your estate in the event of your death. A good … [Read more...] about Advanced Estate Planning Information For Caregivers And Surviving Spouses
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)
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?
Should I be updating my Power of Attorney? There are many circumstances when you might want to update your power of attorney, but generally these fall into three categories. The first is when your life changes, the second is when you have a problem with your designated agent, and the third is what you want your power of attorney to cover. Life changes When you’re creating your estate plan, you … [Read more...] about When to Update Your Power of Attorney
A helpful checklist on how to settle a Living Trust Estate. Most of us have an estate, a legacy we leave to our families. We also have a choice over how that legacy will be passed on. If we choose to do nothing, we are choosing to allow the State to administer our estate and to determine who receives our legacy. An average probate can cost 5 to 10 percent of the gross estate. Avoid probate by … [Read more...] about A Checklist for Settling a Living Trust Estate
Have you tried doing your own physical exam lately? I mean, going to a doctor can be such a waste of time, not to mention the cost. It can be so much better to try to save money and just complete the necessary tests and lab work by yourself. Possibly, you have performed surgery on yourself? Maybe you have extracted your own tooth or filled an annoying cavity all without the assistance of a … [Read more...] about The Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Living Trusts
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
Many believe that credit card debt dies along with you. That is not exactly true. So what does happen to credit card debt after you pass away? There is no simple answer to this question. And the complete answer depends on a number of variables such as who else is on your account, whether you have a living trust, and what state you live in. When you die, your estate is required to pay any … [Read more...] about Does Credit Card Debt Live Beyond Your Lifetime?