If you own an interest in a closely held business, it’s critical to have a well-designed, properly funded buy-sell agreement. Without one, an owner’s death can have a negative effect on the surviving owners.
Roth IRAs offer significant estate planning and financial benefits. If you have a substantial balance in a traditional IRA and are considering converting it to a Roth IRA, there may be no better time than now. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced individual income tax rates through 2025.
When planning your estate, you’re likely focused on major assets, such as real estate, investments and retirement plans. But it’s also important to “sweat the small stuff” — your tangible personal property. Examples include jewelry, antiques and photographs.
A common estate planning mistake that people make is to own property jointly with an adult child or other family member. True, adding a loved one to the title of your home, bank account or other property can be a simple technique for leaving property to that person without the need for probate.
If you’re divorcing, it’s important to review your estate plan as early as possible, for two reasons: First, you may wish to revise your plan immediately to prevent your spouse from inheriting or gaining control over your assets if you die or become incapacitated before the divorce is final.
The record-high exemption amount currently in effect means that fewer families are affected by gift and estate taxes. As a result, the estate planning focus for many people has shifted from transfer taxes to income taxes.
Life insurance has long provided a source of liquidity to pay estate taxes and other expenses. But, with the estate tax exemption currently set at an inflation-adjusted $10 million ($11.40 million for 2019), estate taxes are no longer a concern for many families.
An irrevocable trust has long been a key component of many estate plans. But what if it no longer serves your purposes? Is it too late to change it? Depending on applicable state law, you may have options to fix a “broken” trust.
Planning your estate around specific assets is risky and, in most cases, should be avoided. If you leave specific assets — such as homes, cars or stock — to specific people, you may inadvertently disinherit them.
Estate planning isn’t just about what happens to your assets after you die. It’s also about protecting yourself and your loved ones. This includes having a plan for making critical medical decisions in the event you’re unable to make them yourself.