Federal estate taxes are transfer taxes due when the assets of a deceased person pass to another person or entity. If you’re like most people, you've heard estate taxes referred to as the death tax and you know that there’s a new estate tax law, but you don’t know what the new tax law means to you. Will you have to pay any estate taxes? The new estate tax provisions of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Act became law on December 17, 2010. Everyone is affected by the new estate tax law, … [Read more...] about Estate Taxes: A Quick Summary of the New Estate Tax Law
If you’re like most people, you think you want to avoid probate, but you still have the question, “What is probate?” You’re not sure exactly what probate is. Technically, probate is the process the court uses to determine whether a Will is valid or not. But the term “probate” is also used to describe the entire process of administering your estate. The executor of your Will probates your estate, usually with the help of an estate planning attorney, under the supervision of the court. The … [Read more...] about I Know I Want to Avoid Probate, but what is Probate?
One of the most important elements of a solid estate plan is having a Durable Power of Attorney; this is a legal document you use to appoint someone of your choice to handle your financial and legal affairs if you are unable to. But not all institutions will accept these documents as valid, and you may not know ahead of time which institutions will honor your Power of Attorney and which ones won’t. The main reason that some banks and other types of institutions won’t honor a Power of Attorney … [Read more...] about Your Durable Power of Attorney – Will it Work When it is Needed
Even if you have an estate plan that works great for you now, and will work equally as well when you or your spouse passes away, this same estate plan may not work well when it comes to the need for long-term care because at the time the plan was established, long-term care probably was not the main concern. The current economy has only exacerbated the problem of long-term care expenses. Many people have lost a great deal of money while others have even lost their jobs. These financial … [Read more...] about Will Your Estate Plan Work if You Need Long Term Care?
At one time, many people believed that leaving your assets in trust for your children was trying to maintain control from the grave. This attitude has shifted as more people have realized that a trust may be necessary to protect one’s children and grandchildren. Sometimes, it may be in a child’s best interest to not have complete access to the inheritance that was left to them. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider putting your children’s inheritance into a trust: One of the … [Read more...] about Why You Should Put Assets in Trust for Your Children
One of the necessary steps involved in having a guardian appointed by the court is obtaining a report from an "interdisciplinary evaluation team." This team is appointed by the court and consists of a physician, a psychologist, and a social worker. The team evaluates the elderly or disabled person, the care that person needs, and the need for a guardianship and reports back to the court. When it comes to conservator or guardianship cases, the team's evaluation is often the most important … [Read more...] about Guardianship and Court Evaluation
If you establish a Living Trust you will probably need a Pour Over Will. This may be confusing to a lot of people because of the fact that the main reason to establish a Living Trust is to avoid the probate process, but often this specific type of will is needed. Basically, a Pour Over Will is a way to catch any property that might not be covered by the Living Trust. If everything that you own is included in the Living Trust then there is no need to have this type of will, but there is always … [Read more...] about Do You Need a Pour Over Will?
Although there are many similarities between Elder Law and Estate Planning, there are also some differences. Many attorneys that practice Estate Planning are also familiar with Elder Law, but the two areas of practice are not necessarily the same. An attorney who practices estate planning will generally focus on estate documents, such as a will, trusts, living wills, etc. They also know how to position assets to protect those assets, as well as methods of minimizing or avoiding estate and gift … [Read more...] about Elder Law & Estate Planning
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