Blog Author: Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), Director of Education, American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc. Whether or not we plan to do so, each of us will face death eventually. However, by planning, we can make our passing easier and better in many ways for those we leave behind. This is the third of a series on the ways we can ease the transition through planning. This article focuses on the importance of the way in which you leave assets to your loved ones. When we … [Read more...] about Your Planning Can Help Your Loved Ones
Blog Author: Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), Director of Education, American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc. The new tax law doubled the amount that can be passed free of federal estate taxation, at least through 2025. In 2018, an individual can pass $11.18 million free from federal estate taxation. But, estate planning was never just about estate taxation. The core of estate planning has always been about protecting your loved ones and the assets you leave them. There … [Read more...] about Estate Planning is About More Than Taxes
Blog Author: Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), Director of Education, American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc. This is part of a series of 6 blogs on important estate planning considerations. I’ll intersperse these blogs with other timely blogs. The first article in the series showed how an estate plan prepares one for incapacity during life and not just for the distribution of assets at death. The second article in the series focused on how an estate plan should take into … [Read more...] about 6 Important Estate Planning Considerations – Part 3: Your Kids
Blog Author: Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), Director of Education, American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc. As I discussed in last week’s blog, retirement assets, including 401(k)s, IRAs, etc., comprise a large portion of the average American’s wealth. Planning for these assets is critical, not just due to their value, but also due to their special nature. Traditional IRAs and 401(k)s and the earnings on them are tax-deferred. Roth IRAs and 401(k)s are tax-free. However, … [Read more...] about Planning for Retirement Plans and IRAs: Asset Protection
By: Matthew M. Shafae, Attorney Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law The living trust is the bedrock foundation upon which our estate plans are built. It’s right there in the word: trust. It sounds safe and secure; it’s warm peace of mind. If you’ve been to one of our seminars or workshops, you’ve probably heard us tout the benefits of an asset-protection trust, and how our clients typically take advantage of this estate planning enhancement to leave property to loved ones … [Read more...] about Are All Trusts Asset-Protecting Trusts?
Asset protection is something that many people are concerned about. You certainly want to make sure that your assets are protected for your own purposes, and these concerns will naturally extend to resources that you will be leaving behind to your heirs. Do Trusts Protect Assets? Some people are under the impression that you can protect assets by placing them into any type of trust. This is not the case. For example, let's look at revocable living trusts. These trusts are very popular, but … [Read more...] about Trusts & Asset Protection
Revocable living trusts are utilized by many individuals who are looking for a way to avoid probate. The process of probate can be time-consuming, and there are expenses that go along with it including court costs. So choosing a trust can often times save your heirs time and money. Revocable living trusts can facilitate a smooth transfer of assets. They are also appealing because you, as the grantor, can retain full control of the resources while you are alive. However, because of this … [Read more...] about Northern Trusts Reduce Exposure
The asset that you are likely concerned about protecting above all else is your home. If you are interested in taking steps to keep your residence or even a vacation home out of the cross hairs of potential creditors or claimants, one viable course of action may be to place the home into a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT). With a QPRT, your beneficiary will assume ownership of the property after the term of the trust expires, but you can live in the home rent-free for as long as you … [Read more...] about How Can I Protect My Home?
Making sure that your assets are distributed to your loved ones in accordance with your wishes is clearly something that must be accomplished when you are planning your estate. But at the same time, it is a good idea to understand how everything is connected. Your overall financial plan should blend into your retirement plan, and ultimately inform the legacy that you will be leaving behind after you pass away. For this reason, it is wise to work within an intelligently conceived financial … [Read more...] about Asset Protection: Devise A Plan With Expert Guidance