This week is Estate Planning Week all across the nation, and we want everyone to know how important it is to have a properly drawn will and accompanying estate planning documents.
If you have not reviewed your will within the past 24 months, then right now is the perfect time to get with your attorney or professional adviser. A few issues you’ll want to consider are:
Estate tax changes. Under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), you can leave an unlimited amount of assets to a spouse, plus up to
Many wills written before
Double-check beneficiary designations and account ownership. We’ve seen a number of cases where a divorced person fails to change his or her retirement plan beneficiary from his or her ex-spouse. We also reviewed a case where a husband died and had not removed the ex-wife from his joint checking account that had more than
New laws regarding Power of Attorney. Effective
Is a trust needed? If you have minor children, your will should make provisions for holding your assets in a trust at least until the age of majority (age 19). In many cases, we find that young adults are not prepared to handle even relatively small amounts of money and are better served using a trust and trustee to help manage money until they have had time to experience “the real world” for several years. Take a moment to add up the total value of your estate, including life insurance, and see if you think your child would be ready to receive his or her share outright based on the age of distribution outlined in your current will.
Often, estate planning involves the teamwork of a number of professionals including attorneys, certified financial planners, CPAs, trust officers and chartered life underwriters. That’s because there needs to be a coordination of estate taxes, income taxes, multigenerational financial planning, life insurance planning and trust planning. It’s these combined efforts that typically create the most effective estate plans.
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|Source:||Advance Publications, Inc.|