Trusts can be very flexible. They can be drafted for a wide variety of needs. When those needs change, the trust may be able to accommodate those changing needs. Even if the trust cannot meet those changing needs, it may be possible to change the trust terms.
Drafting an estate plan takes great care. There are many pitfalls in the drafting process. This article looks at how improper drafting can result in a dramatically different outcome from what the client wanted to achieve.
As our life expectancies get longer, the need for long-term care increases. Who will pay for the long-term care expenses and how? The article discusses sources for long-term care expenses and a trend to hold adult children responsible for the parent’s long-term care expenses if the parent cannot afford it.
Some of the most important decisions a client will make are the selection of the trustee and the standard the trustee will have to make decisions. Read further to learn how these decisions influence a client’s estate plan.
Selling a large asset can trigger taxes at a high rate. See how a typical client can slash their taxes by using alternatives, such as a Charitable Remainder Trust.
Sometimes even wealthy, sophisticated clients can fail to plan. Learn how the failure to plan can diminish the assets the client leaves behind to the detriment of the family and their advisors.
Retirement assets are a large part of most Americans’ total wealth. The key to maximizing and maintaining that wealth is to keep the assets in the retirement accounts for as long as possible. However, that alone will not shield the retirement assets from the creditors of beneficiaries. Read more to find out how to gain maximum deferral of income taxes as well as protection from the creditors of beneficiaries.
ABLE Accounts can add new flexibility to estate planning for persons with disabilities. While not a replacement for a special needs trust, the ABLE account offers estate planning attorneys who specialize in special needs planning a new tool to help their clients with disabilities.
President-Elect Trump has proposed repealing the estate tax and replacing it with a capital gains tax for taxpayers with more than $10 million in assets. Passage of such a proposal remains uncertain for many reasons. Whatever the outcome, having an estate plan reviewed by a knowledgeable estate planning attorney will be crucial once it becomes clear the direction that Congress and the President intend to take.
Probate litigation commonly involves an argument over what the decedent intended and what a phrase in a Will or trust means. Ambiguities in estate plans of celebrities are often the subject of litigation, often because millions of dollars are at stake. But emotions, greed, and other human frailties leading to litigation are just as prevalent in litigation between families of lesser means. A properly drafted and funded estate plan, combined with the clear communication of your intent and reasons behind decisions being made can greatly reduce the possibility of litigation involving your estate.