One thing that really hits home when you reach the latter stages of your life and recognize just how final your absence is going to be is the fact you are simply not going to be there when your family needs you. Most people develop a deeply ingrained sense of responsibility that is harder to let go of than anything else, and when you feel this it definitely sheds new light on the importance of intelligent estate planning and its potential for providing long-term financial support. When you … [Read more...] about Asset Protection Through Lifetime Trusts
One of the things about planning your estate that is profound on a personal level is the realization that a time will come when your loved ones will never again have a chance to come to you for assistance. So, your legacy is going to have to provide for them in times of need. Part of effective inheritance planning is to identify the needs and the proclivities of those will be receiving bequests from you so that you can transfer assets to your loved ones in an optimal manner. People that you … [Read more...] about What Is A Spendthrift Trust?
When you are planning for your retirement and shaping your ultimate legacy, the exact nature of your assets and your own intentions will have a lot to do with how best to position them. For people who are looking for a way to reduce the taxable value of their estate while using volatile assets as a source of ongoing income the grantor retained annuity trust or GRAT is something to take into serious consideration. The strategy that we would like to take a look at here is the "zeroed out" grantor … [Read more...] about GRATs For Appreciable Assets
There are those who have a tendency to identify the ills of our society and point fingers, exclaiming that "someone has to do something!" In many cases, you may be able to find that "somebody" looking back at you when you look into the mirror. No one individual can do it all, but we can all do our part. When you are planning your estate you will invariably travel the highway of introspection in your mind's eye and consider the totality of your legacy. This leads many people toward a desire to … [Read more...] about Charitable Remainder Trusts: Mutually Beneficial
Now that the smoke has cleared and we are working with a new set of estate tax parameters going forward in 2011 and 2012, the reality is kind of setting in with a thud. Yes, we are not going to be faced with the 55% maximum rate that was scheduled, and that is good. But the 35% rate that we are left with is still extreme, and when you consider the impact that it can have over a couple of generations it is staggering. Let's look at a very basic hypothetical scenario to illustrate the point. … [Read more...] about Asset Erosion & Legacy Trusts
Statistics vary on the subject and it is hard to find a hard and fast number but it would be safe to say that upward of 40% of marriages ultimately end in divorce, and it is estimated that about 75% of these people remarry and most of them form blended families. Estate planning can be a sensitive and somewhat complex matter even when the family dynamic is simple, but when you have a blended family it can become even more complex. When you are in love to the point of asking someone to marry you … [Read more...] about What is a QTIP?
No one wants to think about the possibility of becoming disabled. However, like death, disability can occur without warning at any time. You might want to consider having a plan in place in the event of an unexpected disability. A good estate planning attorney can help you create a plan that meets your needs, using a variety of incapacity planning documents. Create a Living Will A Living Will is designed to describe what sort of medical treatment you want prior to death. It is not used to … [Read more...] about Preparing Yourself for the Possibility of Disability