If a client’s Estate Plan involves a revocable trust, then the client needs to decide who will serve as trustee after the client dies. Sometimes, clients have several undesirable options if they want to name an individual and they consider naming an institution to serve as trustee. Here is part three of this series of posts on the choosing a trustee, here addressing the framework for clients considering naming an institutional trustee. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about How Do I Trust Thee…Part III
When clients undertake Estate Planning, they face the difficult decision of naming one or more individuals to serve in various fiduciary positions. If a client sets up an irrevocable trust during life, the client may prefer to serve as trustee instead of naming a third party. Serving as trustee gives comfort to the trustor that they maintain a level of control over the assets transferred to the irrevocable trust; however, depending upon the provisions of the trust, naming a trustor as trustee of … [Read more...] about How Do I Trust Thee…Part II
I frequently begin a consultation estate taxes with the phrase "I've got great news". That's because only the wealthiest fraction of one percent of the population will owe any estate taxes under the current laws. For decades, the estate tax laws have been built around the concept of an estate tax exemption -- an amount below which even though there are taxable assets in the estate, no tax will be due. In 2022, that amount is $12.06 million. That's a lot. For a married couple, it's twice that … [Read more...] about You will always want professional help with it comes to filing Estate Tax returns.
I tell my clients that there are several elements which are vital to a successful estate plan that rest outside of the legal documents themselves. Among these are the organization of what you own to be in sync with the legal documents, making sure that you understand what you have and how it works so that you can spot issues which might impact your plan, and ensuring that you fully utilize Clarity Legal Group as advisors and assistants in reviewing the plan and making it work when needed. … [Read more...] about How to Avoid Common Estate Planning Mistakes
I've heard it said that being a grandparent can be an exceptional gig. If you are fortunate enough to be a grandparent, you understand the joy a grandchild brings into your life. Becoming a grandparent is one of the events that the professionals of Clarity Legal Group identify as a life change which should prompt a review of you estate plan. When we do planning for people with children, with commonly built into the documents provisions to provide for and protect hypothetical but as yet unborn … [Read more...] about Grandparents and Gifting: Using a Living Trust
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be very emotional. It can hit you like a locomotive and may take some time to accept. At Clarity Legal Group all of our clients are advised and encouraged to come see us to review their planning when they get any kind of health diagnosis that has the potential to be life changing. Alzheimer's Disease certainly falls into this category. Over the years, I've sat down with a number of people facing this and hope that I have helped them think about the implications … [Read more...] about What to Do after an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis
Our clients at Clarity Legal Group sometimes ask us about he sue of legal entities such as partnerships, corporations or limited liability companies to plan and protect their assets. More and more families own property, assets, and businesses together. Using an entity to govern operations provides stability by allowing continued operation upon the death of an owner. When the governing agreement and estate planning documents of a deceased owner conflict, unintended, potentially litigious, … [Read more...] about Using Entities in Estate Planning
In my last post I discussed that fact that you are not obliged to serve as a Trustee just because you are appointed. One of the reasons you might choose not to server is the risk of liability for errors you might make. If you are serving as Trustee of a Trust for the first time, if you may be a little intimidated at the prospect. You may also be a little worried about your responsibilities as a Trustee and the potential for personal liability if you make a mistake. To make sure you understand … [Read more...] about Can I Be Liable for Mistakes I Make as a Trustee?
Sometimes our new clients at Clarity Legal Group show up with a clear idea of all the people they want to serve as responsible parties in carrying out their estate plan. Other times, counselling with clients to identify the best choice is a big part of the planning process. In any event, the decision of who to choose for these roles is one of the very important choices in a comprehensive planning process. While and Estate Plan is built around a revocable Living Trust, the people who create … [Read more...] about How Do I Trust Thee…Part I
We often recommend a trust as part of a comprehensive Estate Plan. We cannot say often enough that whether your plan includes a trust or not, making sure the way you own your assets and the way beneficiary designations are set up is critical to the outcome of the estate plan. It is not enough to get the documents right. This article is the second in a two-part series that examines the effect that title has on an Estate Plan. The first step is understanding what forms of ownership your state … [Read more...] about How Do I Title Thee…Part II