As we approach the end of the year, it’s a good time to think about updating your plan. This includes your entire plan, including Powers of Attorney. Powers of Attorney are part of even the simplest estate plan. A Power of Attorney allows your Agent to act for you. There are Powers of Attorney for financial matters and also those for health care. It’s important to consider whether you need to update either of these powers. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Updating Your Plan: Powers of Attorney
Normally, you must itemize your deductions in order to benefit from them. In 2020, the standard deduction amount is $12,400 for individuals and $24,800 for married couples filing jointly. But this year, you can get a charitable deduction even if you don’t itemize. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about It’s Better to Give, Especially This Year
A lot of people think that estate planning boils down to the creation of a simple will. This is actually a shortsighted perspective, and in fact, a trust can be a better choice than a will in many instances. We will look at the trust versus will question in another post, but in this one, we will highlight some important estate planning details that often are overlooked. Instructions for the Administrator You should put yourself into the position of the executor or trustee when you are … [Read more...] about Don’t Overlook These Estate Plan Details
There are those that think that the executor of a will can independently distribute assets according to the wishes of the testator. They just read the will to the people that are named in the document and go about their business. You may have seen something like this on a television show, but it is not the way it works in reality. The will would be admitted to probate, and the Surrogate’s Court would provide supervision during the administration process. Probate serves a purpose, because … [Read more...] about What Is Probate and Why Do People Avoid It?
In many ways, the tax laws that pertain to postmortem asset transfers are favorable to inheritors. You do not have to report an inheritance on your income tax returns, and if you inherit appreciated assets, you get a step-up in basis. For capital gains purposes, you would not be responsible for appreciation that accumulated during the life of the decedent. There is the end of the tax story for most people, but high net worth individuals have some other taxes that can have a very significant … [Read more...] about Can You Give Gifts to Avoid Estate Taxes?
As a family business owner, you may have concerns when you are devising your estate plan. For example, there is the matter of inheritance balancing. The best way to describe inheritance balancing would be by way of example. Let’s say that you have a daughter who has always helped you run your business, and you have a son who embarked on a different career path. You are going to give your daughter the business, and it is one of your most valuable assets. Your daughter will continue to run … [Read more...] about Life Insurance for Succession Planning and Inheritance Balancing
If you start to look into the subject of estate planning, you will definitely run across the word “probate” quite a bit. Here in New York, probate matters are handled by the Surrogate’s Court. In this post, we will look at the function of probate as it applies to elder law and estate planning matters. Proving of a Last Will One of the major misconceptions that people harbor about estate planning is the notion that a last will is the simplest and most efficient estate planning device to … [Read more...] about What Is the Purpose of Probate?
Income tax basis is important in tax and estate planning. This article examines the concept of income tax basis, how one acquires a basis, how it gets adjusted, etc. The article then examines how the basis is subtracted from the sale price to determine gain or loss. The next article in the series will examine how income tax basis is an important factor in estate planning. Income Tax Basis … [Read more...] about Income Tax Basis
Trust Protectors are increasingly popular in trusts. This article examines how Trust Protectors can add flexibility to your trust. This flexibility helps achieve your goals and can protect the beneficiaries and Trustee. Use Trust Protectors for Added Protection and Flexibility … [Read more...] about Use Trust Protectors for Added Protection and Flexibility
What’s the right direction for you in planning for the help you might need in the future? Seven in ten of us will need long-term care at some point in our lives. Here are possible paths for covering the assistance you may need. How Will You Obtain the Care You Need? … [Read more...] about How Will You Obtain the Care You Need?