FAQs about Estate Taxes

On November 30, 2015

Estate tax issues can be complicated. Understanding how they impact your estate can be pivotal to reducing your loved ones’ future estate tax obligations. And this can allow them to retain more of the estate you want to them to inherit. Answers about Common Estate Tax Issues Q: What assets are usually included in an estate for tax purposes? A: According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the “Gross Estate” can include probate and non-probate property, such as (but by…
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4 Primary Benefits of Trusts

On November 25, 2015

Trusts are estate planning tools that allow one party to transfer certain assets to another party via the oversight of a third party. Although trusts may not be right for every estate plan, they can have a number of benefits, including: Maintaining control of wealth – Using certain assets to fund a revocable trust can mean that these assets are still accessible to you at any point in the future if you become incapacitated. Upon your death, it also means…
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6 Major Assets to Include in an Estate Plan

On November 20, 2015

As you get started developing an estate plan, one of the first things that may need to be done is to take stock of your major assets. Understanding what these comprise can be important to appropriately preserving them for the future and your beneficiaries. For most people, the major assets to include in estate plans are: Cash and bank accounts – While cash can be directly designated to a beneficiary or used to fund a trust, bank accounts (including personal…
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How Often Should I Update My Will?

On November 15, 2015

It depends on the nature of your estate, as well as your life circumstances. We will delve into this answer more below. When to Update a Will & Estate Plan In general, it’s recommended that people review and update their wills, as needed – and their overall estate plans – every one to three years. It is also strongly advised that estate plan reviews and updates occur when: Major family changes happen – These types of changes can include the…
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How to Start a Conversation about Estate Planning

On November 10, 2015

Developing an estate plan inherently involves conversations about money and death, two sensitive topics that can be uncomfortable to discuss – even among close loved ones. Having these conversations, however, is critical because it can: Clarify the grantor’s intentions (with the grantor being the person who has made the estate plan) – Although an estate plan can include various details about powers of attorney and future asset distribution wishes, it may not necessarily reveal the grantor’s underlying wishes or reasons…
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4 Estate Planning Mistakes that Can Cost Your Loved Ones Later

On November 5, 2015

The right estate plan can preserve your wishes for the future while protecting your loved ones’ interests and possibly even minimizing the need for probate. Of course, the “right” estate plan can vary from situation to situation, depending on the details of an estate (among other things). That being stated, however, the following are among the more common estate planning mistakes that tend to impact the efficacy and protections of these plans. Don’t Make these Estate Planning Mistakes Hinging an…
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