You undoubtedly know that an estate planning attorney can help you create your estate planning documents, however, estate planning -- at least competent and comprehensive estate planning -- has never been all about the legal documents. May people I speak with are unaware of the numerous other components of the services provided by a strong estate planning law firm. To make sure you know when to seek the advice and assistance of an estate planning attorney I put together a list of some common … [Read more...] about How Can an Estate Planning Attorney Help Me?
Although revocable trusts are the centerpiece for many estate plans, many clients are confused by what amount of their deposit accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company. To make the rules easier to apply, the Federal Deposit Insurance Company released new rules with a delayed effective date. These rules build on the current concepts while simplifying their application. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about What Everyone Should Know about the New FDIC Regulations
Initially, the concept of estate planning is a mystery for many of my clients. That is completely understandable given how many different elements there are to an effective estate plan. Effective planning includes consideration of law of trusts and estates, tax law, asset protection laws, an understanding of the probate process, a basic understanding of finance, an appreciation of how asset ownership determines what legal document controls what asset, basic real property law, and for most … [Read more...] about What You Do Not Know about Estate Planning Could Hurt You
Quite a few of my clients come to see me with a set of older documents which have a Will as the main legal document for managing their affairs at death. They have heard about Living Trusts and are wondering if planning with a trust would be the right thing for them. While it is possible to do an estate plan built around a Will, in most of the cases in which people arrive in my office with only a existing Will, there is no evidence of any prior planning. By this, I mean they got the document … [Read more...] about 5 Reasons to Use a Living Trust to Distribute Your Estate
The estate you leave behind after your death consists of all real and personal property as well as tangible and intangible assets owned by you, or in which you share an ownership interest. For most of my clients, that includes common assets such as a home, vehicles, investment accounts, and securities. Quite a few of our clients at Clarity Legal Group have written books or are recording artists. Obviously, these people own a valuable interest in intellectual property. When clients own … [Read more...] about How Do I Include Intellectual Property into My Estate Plan?
A living trust is among the most common additions to a typical estate plan. One reason for this is that a living trust can be used to further a variety of estate planning goals, including probate avoidance, incapacity planning, and asset protection for spouses, children and others who might inherit from you. One concern clients often express to me during an estate planning consultation is the expense involved in administering a living trust. It turns out that the expenses of administering a … [Read more...] about A Living Trust can significantly reduce costs of Administration.
I stress to clients that a comprehensive estate plan should do more than focus on what happens after they are gone. In fact, a successful estate plan should contemplate planning for your possible incapacity as much as for your death. I've spent more than twenty-five years of my legal career on estate planning, and over time, have come up with the following as the best definition for estate planning: Estate Planning is about planning in advance for when you are not in control, so the people you … [Read more...] about A Living Will brings Clarity to your Estate Plan.
My good friend Steve Hartnett, the Director of Education for the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, has created a three part series of blogs intended to help people understand the basics of the taxation of trusts. This post, the last in the series, discusses the tax reporting for grantor and nongrantor trusts. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Tax Reporting with Trusts
My good friend Steve Hartnett, the Director of Education for the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, has created a three part series of blogs intended to help people understand the basics of the taxation of trusts. This post discusses “Nongrantor” trusts. This kind of trust is not taxed to a "substantial owner" pursuant to the grantor trust rules, but rather has its own separate tax life. Such a trust must file its own tax return and the income of the trust would be taxed to it, … [Read more...] about Taxation of Nongrantor Trusts
My good friend Steve Hartnett, the Director of Education for the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, has created a three part series of blogs intended to help people understand the basics of the taxation of trusts. This post discusses Grantor trusts are trusts which are income taxed to the “substantial owner” of the trust. Usually, the substantial owner is otherwise known as the “grantor” or “trustor.” Grantor trusts can be quite useful in tax planning. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Advantages of Using a “Grantor Trust” in Planning