Articles Tagged with Living Trust

Red-car-vehicle-vintage-mediumAt some point, everyone needs to consider estate planning. It’s time to create an up-to-date estate plan when you experience one of these life events.

Think estate planning isn’t for you? Think again! And it’s not just a one-time deal; changes in your life should result in changes to your plan, so be ready to make some updates.

The Richland Source notes in a recent article, titled “Do you need an estate plan?”, that it’s time to create an up-to-date estate plan when you have one of these life events:

Clock facesSo how do you know if your estate plan is out-of-date?  If your will or trust predates these four key “freshness dates,” it may be time to visit your attorney for a review.

Estate plans are not meant to be a one-time deal. If life changes – or the law changes – you need to update your plan accordingly.

The website recently posted a very informative article, titled “Why Your Will May Be Out of Date,” which states that although your estate planning documents are still valid, they may no longer work the way you originally thought they would.

Savings money stackActually the trusts are Crummey trusts named after one D. Clifford Crummey who won a decision in the Ninth Circuit in 1968, when I was just a high school lad.  Israel and Erna Mikel were just in Tax Court showing how powerful the Crummey power can be as they used it to shelter over $1.4 million in transfers to their family trust from gift taxes.  An arbitration clause that called for the use of a religious court caused the IRS to challenge the validity of the exclusions, but the Tax Court ruled in the taxpayer’s favor.

Trusts can have pretty funny names. Take the Crummey trust for example – doesn’t sound very good, does it? Who wants a “crumby” trust? Let’s explore this tool further.

A recent Forbes article, titled “Religious Arbitration Clause Does Not Hurt Million Plus Gift Tax Exclusion,” reminds us that there’s an annual exclusion from gift tax. Reminder: every year you can give the annual exclusion amount ($14,000 this year) to as many people as you want without any gift taxes or disturbing the unified credit against transfer taxes. However, to qualify for the exclusion, the gift has to be of a “present interest”.

Stack of law books“We are delighted to inform the public that the court has appointed Bobby Brown and Pat Houston as co-guardians of Bobbi Kristina Brown (‘Krissi’),” read a statement issued by David Long-Daniels, counsel for Pat Houston and Cissy Houston, and Christopher Brown, an attorney for Bobby Brown. “Both Mr. Brown and Ms. Houston are jointly responsible for decisions related to Krissi’s care and medical needs.” A court-appointed attorney, Bedelia Hargrove, will act as a conservator for the 22-year-old.

The court-appointed attorney specializes in fiduciary litigation, probate and estate administration, estate planning, personal injury and wrongful death cases, as well as general civil litigation.

As conservator, the attorney “is responsible for Krissi’s assets, including her likeness, rights and legal claims,” according to the statement read by attorneys for the family.

3538871771_3a3cbb1eb8_zFew people get excited about doing estate planning, even though they might recognize the importance of leaving a legacy for their children and grandchildren. If you want to be smart about making gifts to your loved ones, though, there are some things you should consider before just writing a check.

When leaving a legacy to your Houston heirs, you want to do it the right way. It’s always best to consult with the pros on important estate planning matters.

A recent article from The Motley Fool, titled “Thinking of Gifting an Inheritance to Your Grandchildren? Keep These 3 Things in Mind,” asks some of their experts for estate planning tips. Here are some of their answers:

Baseball - CopyIf a Loved One or you have an estate plan, or even part of one, then some team members already are on board via the planning process and likely are actively serving or are nominated in the documents. They can have roles in the testamentary will, trusts, business purchase agreement, powers of attorney, medical directives or any of the other estate-planning instruments created during life.

Some team members are fee-based professionals, while others can be volunteers. In many instances, not all of the specialties will be required. Your estate planning team should consist of the combination of members that best suits your situation.

The Myrtle Beach (FL) Sun News recently published an article titled “Assembling your team for estate management”which reminds us that one person or a firm can serve in more than one fiduciary or team-member role.

Wills-trusts-and-estates-coveredThe House voted last week to repeal the estate tax, a longtime priority of Republicans that also spurred Democratic charges that the GOP is in the pockets of the rich. The 240-179 vote broke down largely on partisan lines, with seven Democrats voting to repeal the estate tax and three Republicans voting against it. 

Senator John Thune (R-SD) introduced legislation to repeal the estate tax, but it’s uncertain when or if that proposal might get a vote. There were 54 senators who supported the estate tax repeal last month in a non-binding budget resolution vote. Nonetheless, this is six votes short of the 60 needed.

The Hill’s article, titled“House votes to repeal estate tax, notes that a repeal of the estate tax would increase the deficit by $269 billion over the next 10 years, and the Joint Committee on Taxation projects that the estate tax will impact 5,400 estates in 2015. This is approximately 0.2% of the 2.6 million deaths expected in the U.S. this year.

Couple holding handsAlthough some couples remain unmarried to protect their estates, that strategy backfires if you end up paying estate taxes. If you choose not to marry, you and your partner need to educate yourselves on your estate planning and retirement options.

If you’re married, you’re able to inherit an unlimited amount of assets from your spouse—without paying any state or federal estate taxes. In addition, you’re permitted to give an unlimited amount of assets to your spouse while you’re alive without filing a gift-tax return.

This exemption doesn’t extend to unmarried couples. Estates of up to $5.43 million are exempt from federal estate taxes. Some states, however, have lower thresholds for their estate or inheritance taxes.

Vision sign"The costliest errors are ones we make ourselves, often without realizing how much damage we're doing."

"Estate planning is intertwined with the financial plan," a article explained, and it’s no secret that many individuals fail to prepare for retirement. When doing an estate plan, the article offers some sound advice:

  • Make sure an estate planning attorney examines every major financial document;

Money treeWhen Detroit businessman Dick E. Morand died in 1977, he ensured that his estate would continue giving for decades after his death via a charitable remainder trust. 

Morand died at the age of 87. He was founder and owner of D.E. Machinery Company and was vice president of Addy-Morand Machinery Company. His wife, Helen, died in 1976 and the couple had no children. Now, five Metro Detroit nonprofits are benefiting from Morand’s trust.

Morand’s trust is really the gift that keeps on giving.

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