Did you know that one of the most effective estate-tax-saving techniques is also one of the simplest and most convenient? By making maximum use of the annual gift tax exclusion, you can pass substantial amounts of assets to loved ones during your lifetime without any gift tax.
Among the many decisions you’ll have to make as your estate plan is being drafted is who you will appoint as the executor of your estate and the trustee of your trusts. These are important appointments, and, in fact, both roles can be filled by the same person.
The death of a spouse is a devastating, traumatic experience. And when it happens, dealing with taxes and other financial and legal obligations are probably the last things on your mind. Unfortunately, many of these obligations can’t wait and may have to be addressed in the months to follow.
Because the federal gift and estate tax exemption amount currently is $12.06 million, fewer people need life insurance to provide their families with the liquidity to pay estate taxes.
If you’re charitably inclined, it may be desirable to donate assets held in a trust. Why? Perhaps you’re not ready to let go of assets you hold individually. Or maybe the tax benefits of donating trust property would be more attractive than making an individual donation.
The term “probate” is one you’ve probably heard and might associate with negative connotations. But you may not fully understand what it is. For some people, the term conjures images of lengthy delays waiting for wealth to be transferred as well as bitter disputes among family members.
To ensure that a trust operates as intended, it’s critical to appoint a trustee that you can count on to carry out your wishes.
As you create your estate plan, your main objectives likely revolve around your family, both current and future generations. Your goals may include reducing estate tax liability so that you can pass as much wealth as possible to your loved ones.
No one likes to contemplate his or her own mortality. But ignoring the need for an estate plan or procrastinating in the creation of one is asking for trouble. If you haven’t started the process, don’t delay any longer. For your estate plan to achieve your goals, avoid these four pitfalls:
Let’s assume you have a legally valid will but you’ve decided that it should be revised because of a change in your family’s circumstances. Perhaps all you want to do is add a newborn grandchild to the list of beneficiaries or remove your adult child’s spouse after a divorce.