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Estate Planning and Looking Ahead for Longevity

August 16, 2018

Filed under: Aging In Place — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

There are many different steps you can take to increase your chances of a successful retirement and many years lived beyond that point. Longevity has increasingly become an important component of overall estate, financial and retirement planning. Since although people are living longer, they are also more likely to be in need of long term care assistance.

Friendly young doctor talking with older patient in hospital

While a long life might be seen as an excellent gift, there are also legal and financial challenges that could be present. The earlier you can work to address or to prepare for these, the easier your older years will be. A non-smoking 65-year-old man today has a 50% chance of living until age 85 and a non-smoking 65-year-old woman has a 50% chance of living until age 88.

These four different steps can help you to be aware of the risks and the benefits of living into old age. These include:

  • Contemplate long term care since it’s likely that at least one member of a married couple will end up in a nursing home. Traditional long-term care policies can be extremely expensive, so make sure you do your research before selecting how to protect yourself.
  • Plan for incapacity. While it’s easy to assume that you might never be at risk of being incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself, failing to prepare for this possibility can take an emotional and a financial toll on your family members. Make sure that you’ve contemplated who can step in to make decisions on your behalf in terms of medical care and your financial needs.
  • Avoid probate by using an experienced estate planning attorney so that your loved ones can avoid this lengthy and problematic process.
  • Minimize your taxes. Make sure that you sit down with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to discuss whether or not your estate will be affected by federal estate taxes. Even if it is not, there are plenty of steps you can take to maximize the money that you have set aside for your loved ones as well as for your own retirement.

Use A Solid Foundation for Your Estate Plan

August 15, 2018

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Teamwork is necessary for the comprehensive estate plan that will accomplish the vast majority of your goals. If you don’t have appropriate estate planning tools in place, your loved ones could be the ones to deal with the consequences. Work with a team of professionals who understand how your estate can be affected by your investments, your taxes, and your retirement income plan.

Business – meeting in an office, lawyers or attorneys discussing a document or contract agreement

This gives you peace of mind that your estate plan is well thought out and all-encompassing. There are multiple steps that you should consider when putting together a thorough estate plan. These include:

  • Looking at your existing will and trusts to determine whether these need to be updated.
  • Putting together a balance sheet of all of your liabilities and assets.
  • Collecting any personal data about you, your family and your personal belongings.
  • Evaluating all estate tax options.
  • Determining the best way to distribute benefits inside your retirement plans.
  • Determining what liquid assets you have that could meet possible estate taxes and expenses.
  • Computing liabilities related to asset protection, gifts, income tax liabilities and estate tax liabilities.
  • Determine the best method to get rid of your share of community property.
  • Thinking about things like the unlimited marital deductions.

These tasks are just some of the most basic and instrumental elements of comprehensive estate planning and of course, your experience will vary based on your individual goals, the structure of your family, and other critical issues linked to the estate planning process. Make sure that you consult with an attorney who is committed to applying your unique situations into your estate planning documentation.

All the right paperwork can be gathered, organized, and reviewed on a regular basis by a lawyer. Remember that as your life circumstances change, so too should your estate plan. New tax laws, marriages, divorces, children, or grandchildren can all prompt you to rethink your existing strategies.

Advance Wealth Planning Tips for Tax Preferred Saving Strategies

August 14, 2018

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

The federal government has long provided incentives for families to save, based on three different types of tax preferences; deferral, deductibility, and tax-free distributions. For wealthier households, however, a more advanced planning strategy is required. The appropriate mix of tax preferenced vehicles should include a conversation with your estate planning and asset protection planning attorney to generate a hierarchy.

The glass wall of the building with the inscription Bank

The right approach considers the preferenced accounts first and after those contribution limitations have been met, this will then spill additional savings over to the following tier. When this is used as part of a holistic planning strategy, the hierarchical model helps those people with significant assets and high levels of income to minimize their tax liabilities, while also maximizing growth of the savings. Tax preferenced retirement accounts come in two different forms; traditional accounts and Roth style accounts.

Roth style accounts are not deductible when contributions are made but are tax free when distributed. Whereas, a traditional account gives a tax deduction for contributions, but the distributions are ultimately taxed. These retirement accounts are, in some sense, double tax preferenced since they get tax-deferred status on assets inside the account in addition to tax free distribution treatment at the end or a deduction up front.

Households that are earning $300,000 or more might have different goals than families with different incomes. Some of the most common goals for these advanced earners include building family wealth, maximizing economic value of the dollars being saved, paying for college or saving for retirement. Consulting with an experienced estate planning lawyer is strongly recommended when you are trying to figure out what is most appropriate for you and your loved ones.

 

Don’t Forget Special Needs in Your Estate Planning

August 13, 2018

Filed under: Special Needs — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Financial planning is important for all families but having a child with special needs makes it even more imperative that parents consult directly with experienced professionals. Financial and estate planning for families with special needs should look to do everything possible to protect the special needs beneficiary’s rights and entitlement to particular government programs. 

For those parents who have children with special needs, the cost of a college education and adulthood can be catastrophic. In fact, the American College of Financial Services in Pennsylvania estimates that the typical cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is $250,000, but it could be much closer to half a million dollars for a child with special needs.

Using the right strategies and professionals well in advance can help parents tackle the unique obstacles and issues that may be associated with providing care for a special needs child. Assembling a team of knowledgeable professionals who have worked in this field over the course of multiple years and have helped other families like yours is essential for giving you peace of mind. Some of the most important players on your team included an accountant, a caregiver, an estate planning attorney, and a financial advisor. Available government benefits should always be given top priority when establishing a long-term estate plan.

The support of an experienced lawyer is valuable for guiding families through common missteps that could otherwise expose their loved one to having those benefits slip away. Most parents and families are concerned about how to best protect these benefits, particularly, after the parents pass away and this could be a significant financial resource for the special needs child. However, basic estate planning mistakes could mean that those benefits disappear entirely, and it might be too late for the child after the issues have already emerged following both of the parents passing away.

If no other caregiver has been established in this important role, the special needs child could truly struggle to live their adult life. Careful planning well in advance should look at all of the important issues related to special needs planning and should provide a road map for how to protect current benefits and maximize strategies for care in the future.

 

Art Collecting and Estate Planning 101

August 9, 2018

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

For those art collectors thinking about passing on their most valuable collection to others when they pass away, valuation and organization of this collection is strongly recommended. One way to pass on artwork is extremely risky. This refers to the matter of simply putting post-it notes on the artwork on the wall to explain who gets what. This approach, however, could represent that a significant portion of the value of the estate goes towards estate taxes. 

Estate taxes might not be an issue for many since the federal estate tax and gift tax exemption is $11.89 million per person. However, if an art collector accumulated a great deal of artwork, ignoring the overall value could cause problems later if it is not appropriately reported. You could pass on penalties, tax fraud, unexpected estate taxes and fines to the person who receives the art, in addition to prolonged IRS proceedings. Since the statute of limitations for tax fraud is limitless, you need to understand the possible complications well in advance. Even if artwork comes in at a value well below the estate tax exemption amount, clarity and organization regarding the disposition in the value of the individual artwork plays an important role in keeping the peace among your beneficiaries. The first step in this process is to make an inventory. List out each piece of art and its recommended value. Hire an art appraiser who has extensive experience in the field if you want to verify that the information is correct. It is not a good idea to attempt to ballpark the value of art. Rather it is much more effective to use an actual art appraiser and keep documentation from this process.

Any large items or special collections in your estate deserve extra attention. If you don’t put in the effort for your beneficiaries on these items, the problems all fall to your loved ones. You might be doing unnecessary harm or causing confusion that can be eliminated with just a few meetings with your estate planning lawyer. If you’re not yet sure that what you have qualifies as a collection, consider carrying out the valuation process and talking to your lawyer.

 

What You Need to Know About Successfully Managing A Financial Windfall

August 8, 2018

Filed under: Asset Protection — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

While some people certainly are successful when winning the lottery or receiving a large inheritance, the vast majority are unsure of how to manage these significant financial windfalls, and this can be very frustrating to realize that happily ever doesn’t just materialize. In many situations, sudden money can leave people worse off than they were prior to the windfall. Many people who are not used to managing such a large sum mismanage the funds. Many people blow through an inheritance or financial windfall extremely quickly, according to economists. It can seem like play money and this is where the risks can lurk for someone who is not familiar with how to handle a large amount.

Man in white shirt and black tie holding an empty wallet.

The easiest step to managing a large financial windfall is to understand that it might be best for you to do nothing. It might seem like taking a luxury cruise, buying a new car or upgrading your current housing situation would be the first thing on your list to accomplish. However, this can lead to a number of different purchases in the same manner that will all leave you feeling regret.

Waiting at least six months after receiving a large financial windfall before making any life-changing decisions is strongly recommended. It’s also not a good time to consider quitting your job, at least not right away. Many people who have been in the unfortunate situation of struggling to manage a major financial windfall don’t realize that making these decisions so early on in their process could put them in line for a significant problem down the road.

If you quit your job too soon and then blow through the money, you’ll be right back out on the job market, now with all of the shame and guilt of having to explain what happened if your receipt of an inheritance was in any way public. Make sure that you also think about estate and tax planning concerns.

Scheduling a consultation directly with an estate planning attorney is one way to accomplish these goals and to verify that you have spoken to a professional about what to expect.  When your life changes in a big way, you also need to have corresponding changes in your estate planning and related tools.

 

What You Need to Know About Multi-Generational Estate Planning Concerns

August 7, 2018

Filed under: Blended Families — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

U.S. families are increasingly opting to roll things together. In fact, data from a Pew Research Center analysis identified that 20% of the U.S. population lived in multi-generational homes. This brings about important concerns for estate planning. In some cases, this has to do with older children moving back in with their parents in order to make ends meet while carrying through their student loan payments.

Others may involve grandparents who are involved in providing childcare. No matter what your house looks like, including your loved ones in your estate planning and considering the structure of your family is important.

Many adult children are now considering how they can rework their existing housing arrangements to accommodate the needs of aging parents who require additional healthcare support.

This means that estate planning and financial planning must be calculated because good planning is crucial to the success of all of these arrangements. There are many different multi-generational tax, financial and estate planning issues that can arise. Thought must be given in particular to those questions such as who should own the real estate and if that title is taken jointly in a family partnership, trust or otherwise. Inter-family loans might also be one other option to explore. multigenerational-estate-planning

Additionally, consider whether or not there exist sufficient assets in the parents’ estate to pay for any estate taxes while also providing for other beneficiaries.

Real estate must also be included in the consideration of the overall estate plan and whether or not the plan is fair for all of the heirs. Deciding who should be included on what assets they should receive is extremely important and can help eliminate conflicts in the future. Navigating the decision-making process means thinking about what it means to include all of your key family members and common missteps that you should always opt to avoid, if possible.

Scheduling a consultation directly with an experienced estate planning attorney is often the first step in getting your questions answered and understanding the various tactics and strategies available to you.

 

Don’t Make Estate Planning A Legal Maze

August 6, 2018

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Does your estate planning need to be difficult? It doesn’t, but that’s one of the main reasons why people put it off. You deserve to have an estate planning lawyer who can help you with understanding each step and keeping you informed as your life and planning needs change.

There are many different complications to having an estate plan, but thankfully, working directly with an estate planning attorney can help minimize the challenges and confusion you experience. Health care and estate plans seem something like a legal maze.

This can become even more difficult if you have existing family drama. There can be feelings of anger, mistrust, shame, and confusion, that come with concerns related to health issues, the aftermath of a loved one’s death or finances. Having your affairs in order in case something catastrophic happens, including the possibility of developing a disabling illness or a condition, is good no matter what your age.

A woman wearing a dress trying to make her way through a large maze.

Many people come to schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney when they are in their 50s through their 70s, when children have moved out of the house, and when mortality concerns are at the forefront. The primary reason for doing this at that point in time is because many people aren’t comfortable discussing mortality, but furthermore, don’t realize that they could have benefited from estate planning all along.

Older adults have unique issues as it relates to estate planning, including guardianship, probate asset protection planning, and dealing with Medicaid. However, estate planning for blended families can be notoriously complex and is one common way in which many people experience pitfalls in the estate planning process and discover it too late after an issue has emerged.

Late in life marriages also require estate planning help. If one partner brings a significant amount of wealth into the marriage but the other party has few assets, this could be problematic if the party with fewer assets ultimately requires expensive long-term care. Since Medicaid will evaluate all of the couple’s assets in determining whether or not that party qualifies for assistance, both individuals might have to use their own personal assets in order to pay for the health care cost. Scheduling a consultation with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you avoid many issues.

 

What Does Bankruptcy Have to Do with Asset Protection Planning?

August 2, 2018

Filed under: Asset Protection — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Bankruptcy can play a role in asset protection planning but only when you have an attorney to help walk you through this. Bankruptcy, unfortunately, may be increasingly necessary for a company or an individual that is facing financial troubles. In fact, more than 2 million companies and individuals file bankruptcy on a yearly basis. Bankruptcy has an important role in protecting assets as well as in eliminating debts. Many debtors will use bankruptcy to protect their wealth in a downturned economy. Many consumers are overburdened with credit card debts, which means bankruptcy as a tool for asset protection planning has increased in recent years. Bankruptcy is not always the right answer for any person overburdened with financial challenges but it can be the right choice when a person has too many debts to be paid from selling their assets or from their future income. Bankruptcy can be valuable for protecting your assets because all civil actions against you must immediately stop when you file for bankruptcy. 

This includes seizures, lawsuits, IRS claims, attachments, foreclosures, repossessions and levies. This is because every creditor has a legal responsibility to observe the automatic stay of legal action imposed by bankruptcy. Bankruptcy, therefore, gives you the chance to resolve your financial issues with creditors who might otherwise sell your assets or seize them. The timing of bankruptcy is critical as far as how it protects your assets.

Debtors often file too late or too soon and either way, lose out on critical benefits and advantages of bankruptcy. Collecting all tax refunds before you file are recommended. Any tax refunds that are due to you at the time you filed bankruptcy will be claimed by your trustee. You will want to consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer as well as an asset protection planning lawyer to clarify that you have addressed all of the most common issues and that the timing of bankruptcy is appropriate right now. If you are concerned about how to proceed, reach out to a team of professionals who can help you.

Your estate planning lawyer should also be included in these conversations.

 

Having the Difficult Financial Discussion with Your Parents

August 1, 2018

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Adult children might want to shy away from having a conversation about finances with their parents, but plenty of research shows there are negative side effects of not having this conversation at all. Approximately one-third of parents over the age of 60, for example, say that they have never discussed their needs for later in life with their family, including beneficiaries, inheritance plans, critical documents or designated representatives. Adult children often worry that these conversations will lead to conflict or make it seem like they are only after their parents’ money or are curious about matters that the parents might consider personal. Starting with one conversation is the best way to approach financial and estate planning. Having the talk about finances is helpful for avoiding elder abuse as well as protecting your adult parents from scams. NJ estate planning

According to research conducted by True Link Financial, elder abuse and scams contribute to the loss of more than $36 billion every single year. The right conversations about finances with your loved ones verify that an appropriate response plan is in place in the event that someone suddenly becomes disabled and is unable to make decisions for themselves. Furthermore, you will understand the signs of a scam or elder abuse so that you can take action quickly against the person who might be trying to take advantage of your loved ones.

Carving out time for a family meeting when all children are present is the right way to approach this process and begin with the basics, as launching into advanced estate and financial planning considerations can be difficult. Look at discussions from a group perspective about the end of life goals you might be considering and asking parents about theirs.

While it might seem uncomfortable, broaching serious topics is necessary, and always try to leave any judgment you have at the door because it is already difficult for your loved ones to have these conversations, to begin with. When you pull yourself out of the process and instead allow your loved ones to open up at their own pace, you will find that it is much easier to have these conversations and to understand your parent’s goals.

 

Avoid These Mistakes When Planning for Your Special Needs Beneficiary

July 31, 2018

Filed under: Special Needs — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Do you have someone in your life who could be classified as a special needs beneficiary? If so, it is even more important that you have a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer to help you with this process. Planning for a loved one with special needs requires advanced consideration of how your many decisions might affect them in the future.

metal trust word 3d render with perspective and blur effet, blue background with shadow

First of all, avoid disinheriting a special needs beneficiary. Plenty of disabled individuals get public benefits to pay for their basic needs like medical care, shelter, and food. Some families have been told mistakenly to disinherit a person with special needs in order to preserve their entitlement to benefits, and to instead give that portion to a sibling to use for the disabled person’s needs. But if the sibling passes away or becomes incapacitated, then the support is not available to help the special needs child.

Putting together a special needs trust helps to guard against this problem. Procrastinating when it comes to planning for a special needs child can be extremely expensive. Families must plan early and use a special needs trust that is appropriately funded. If this does not happen, the inherited assets could be required to repay the estate for assistance provided when assets that are inherited out disqualify a beneficiary from getting needed benefits.

Finally, never ignore the special needs of that beneficiary when conducting the planning process. An appropriately designed special needs trust gives happiness and comfort for a special needs beneficiary while ensuring that they maintain their eligibility for benefits.

An appropriately funded trust can help to pay for education expenses, medical costs and necessary equipment. Furthermore, the trust can also be used to make this special needs child’s life more comfortable, including quality of life-enhancing expenses like those typically provided by parents.  Selecting a trustee wisely is even more important when establishing a special needs trust since this person will have important responsibilities.

 

Does A Will Oversee the Distribution of All of Your Assets?

July 30, 2018

Filed under: Wills — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Are you thinking about using a will? It is one of the most important estate planning tools and yet is also one that is frequently overlooked by people who could benefit from a will and other estate planning strategies. One of the biggest myths about estate planning is that a will oversees the distribution of each one of your individual assets.

Estate Planning – Businesswoman hand pressing button on touch screen interface. Business, technology, internet concept. Stock Photo

A will allows you to establish how your belongings should be distributed. Whether it’s family heirlooms, a vehicle or something else, wills do have limitations, however. The will has control over the assets that are in the person’s individual name alone. If an owner has joint accounts or accounts listed with beneficiaries on them, the will has no controlling power over these accounts. This is a lesson that many people have had to learn the hard way when their loved ones expected to receive benefits outlined for them in the will but instead, these materials were passed on according to the beneficiary designation forms filed directly with appropriate companies.

Many different types of companies and accounts do use beneficiary designations that override what is established in the original will. These include retirement accounts, certain types of brokerage accounts and life insurance policies. A regular review of the beneficiary designations on these policies is helpful for figuring out whether they are outdated or include a former spouse. Since the only information that those companies have to pass on your assets are in the form of beneficiary designations, you must protect yourself by regular review of these materials.

Furthermore, you’ll want to establish a primary as well as a contingent beneficiary. The biggest reason for doing this is because if something happens to your primary beneficiary, you will want someone else to be able to receive those assets quickly and effectively.

Routine Estate Planning Check-Ups Should Happen Regardless of The Political Climate

July 26, 2018

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

People are always looking for good reasons to put off the process of estate planning, but one of these shouldn’t be the current political climate and the fact that it seems to alter and change relatively quickly. While it’s certainly true that you need to be informed about estate planning and tax planning issues, largely because of the fact that the political climate is constantly updating, routine estate planning check-ups should occur regardless.

Letting your estate planning documents lapse in terms of their accuracy could mean big consequences for you if you were to become incapacitated or challenges for your family members if you were to pass away suddenly. 

It is important to always update wills and health care documents specifically. The individuals named in these documents may no longer be accurate if details in your life have changed. Physicians, such as a health care agent, guardian for the minor children, power of attorney, trustees on the testament to your irrevocable trust, trust protectors or trustee appointers should all be carefully considered and evaluated at least on an annual basis.

If your relationship has changed with any of the people named, if your life situation has changed, if the life situation of any of those people has changed such that they would no longer be available, interested or capable of carrying out the roles or if all of the people that are mentioned are not geographically appropriate, these issues should be used to update your estate planning materials. Furthermore, you will need to look into issues such as whether or not the amounts left to each beneficiary are still appropriate, how your relationship with each beneficiary has unfolded or needs to be updated and are any of the beneficiaries at risk when it comes to inheriting assets. When you account for all of these issues on an annual basis, you can be sure that your estate planning includes many of the most common issues that people overlook and issues that expose them and their family members to difficulties.

Should I Create My Will or Designate Beneficiaries First?

July 25, 2018

Filed under: Beneficiaries — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

If you have a limited period of time or if you are concerned about accomplishing your estate planning tasks in a particular order, there are certain things you can do to make things easier on you as well as your loved ones. One of the first and most important tasks you should do is to designate beneficiaries on your financial accounts. 

Certain bank accounts, retirement accounts and life insurance policies require you to designate a beneficiary. It is strongly recommended that you name a contingent as well as a primary beneficiary. This is because if something happens to the primary beneficiary, another person is able to step in and receive these assets right away.

Although it might seem very basic to designate beneficiaries in comparison with putting together a will, but designating beneficiaries is often more powerful than the will process because you can help to ensure that those assets don’t go through probate. Many people probably don’t know that many of the brokerages in the United States will allow you to attach a transfer on death instruction associated with your non-retirement account.

Transfer on death deeds can be used in real estate that is located in 27 different states. Consult directly with your experienced estate planning attorney to figure out what applies to you. After you have done this, you will want to outline all of your liabilities including your credit card debt, your mortgage and your loans. A contact list of people that your family members can reach out to for assistance is also strongly recommended.

Any of the professionals that you have used in the planning process such as your insurance agent, your attorney, your accountant and your financial advisor should all be included on a contact list with their name, business, contact details, and what services they provided. Even if you do already have an estate plan, it’s a good idea to work with an attorney on the estate planning process because you can avoid most common missteps and obstacles.

Why A Sudden Medical Diagnosis Makes End of Life Planning Important

July 24, 2018

Filed under: Advanced Directives — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

A terminal or serious medical diagnosis can put a person in the position of realizing that they have far less time than expected to get their affairs in order. This raises important questions about the accuracy of your estate planning documents and important steps that you need to take to protect yourself as well as your loved ones. You need to consider questions such as; what is the best way to leave assets to your heirs? Should you pay off your mortgage or leave it alone?

A devastating medical diagnosis has ripple effects that can be felt throughout your family but giving into panic without planning can be a big mistake. When faced with disability or chronic disease, an experienced estate planning attorney should be contacted as soon as possible. While it may be uncomfortable, awkward or even filled with guilt because you haven’t done enough planning in the past, it’s important to use a professional to bridge some of the most common issues. Estate planning usually does occur with an emotionally charged event, but all kinds of issues that you hadn’t previously considered might suddenly boil to the surface. Make sure that you have a notebook so that you can keep track of all of your documents, the questions you need to answer and personal details. 

Having all of this information in one place makes it much easier if you are suddenly unable to make decisions on your own behalf. You can allow a power of attorney or other agent to step in and get things tied up quickly. The first and most basic estate planning document is your will.

If you do not currently have one, a good place to start is making a list of all your assets including retirement accounts, real estate, and financial accounts. The will includes most of the important details related to things that do not have a beneficiary. Property is best spelled out in a will and this should always be done with the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer.

Plenty of celebrities have provided for case studies for what not to do when it comes estate planning and thankfully, you can avoid these obstacles by working directly with an experienced and dedicated lawyer.

 

Asset Protection Planning: Move Assets Off of Your Balance Sheets

July 23, 2018

Filed under: Asset Protection Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

If you are thinking about the best way to protect yourself, regardless of the current political laws surrounding estate and tax planning, it’s a good idea to engage with a lawyer who also has a background in asset protection planning.

Most people don’t understand what asset protection planning includes until it’s too late. Shielding your assets from creditors and predators in advance, however, is essential if you don’t want to learn the lesson the hard way.

As a client, you will want to consider all real estate, family business, investments accounts and life insurance interests by transferring them into a trust, if possible. Issues like a family business can complicate your estate planning significantly. Since a family business usually seen as a long-term investment, you might want to sell it into a trust. This will give an income stream to older people who want to give up the day to day operations and responsibilities of the business without losing all of their access to the security of the financial security provided by the asset. Business interests should typically be sold when the value is modest, so that growth can occur outside of the individual person’s estate. Selling off a business interest also allows for things known as valuation discounts, such that greater equity goes into the trust. Life insurance can also be sold into a trust in order to avoid three years look back issues.

In the event that you choose to gift life insurance into an irrevocable trust and pass away within three years, typically the internal revenue service will put that asset back into the estate, but a sale of the life insurance policy into a trust can avoid this problem. Finally, real estate can be sold into a trust for similar reasons as family businesses. asset protection lawyer

If you wait until a legal claim or issue has already come up, the options for really protecting your assets are much more limited. That’s why you need the support of an attorney months or years in advance.

Protecting these assets and also considering the different ways that a family business or an individual could be exposed to the risk of lawsuits and other challenges should be carefully considered with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney when you are planning to look forward into the future and to do as much as possible to prevent problems and personal liabilities.

 

New Study Shows That Many People Expect to Delay Retirement

July 19, 2018

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Plenty of Americans have not started the process of retirement planning at all or admit that they feel that they are in over their head and haven’t set aside enough money. With increasing longevity numbers and rising cost of long term care, retirement planning has become increasingly important.

However, a new study completed by Northwestern Mutual indicates that many people expect to delay their retirement years as a result of financial concerns. This comes from the 2018 planning and progress study known as Living Long and Working Longer, which discusses some of the long term financial security threats currently facing the older generation. 

More than 2,000 adults were included in this study and 8 out of 10 people say they are somewhat or extremely concerned about being able to achieve an affordable retirement. Up to two-thirds of U.S. adults who responded in the study believes that it is possible that they will outlive their retirement savings.

A total of three quarters of Americans believe that it was only somewhat likely or not at all likely that Social Security benefits would be available when they retire. Unfortunately, however, nearly half of adults who participated in the study said that they took no specific to prepare for the potential of outliving their individual savings.

However, one-quarter of them did say that they had increased the amount of money they were putting aside each month. Less than 20% of people who responded in the survey had put together a financial plan to help get them to retirement and beyond.

More than half of the American people who responded in the study who anticipated living past the traditional retirement age said they had to so as a result of necessity, due to a lack of confidence in social security’s ability to protect their needs and inadequate savings.

Other concerns that came about as prominent in these responses included having to care for loved ones or rising health care costs. If you or someone you know has not thought carefully about how your retirement plan intersects with your estate plan, set aside time to schedule a consultation with an experienced lawyer.

 

Anthony Bourdain’s Will Could Be Open to Legal Dispute

July 18, 2018

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

A trust was initially created for the daughter of the celebrity chef who recently passed away. However, if the divorce wasn’t finalized, the ex-wife may be eligible to obtain one third of the estate. Details from his will reveal that his estate may be not have been as large as many people expected.

Documents were filed recently with Manhattan’s Surrogate Court, estimating that the estate was worth approximately $1.21 million. Some people estimated that he was worth as much as $16 million.

The 11-year-old daughter of Anthony Bourdain was listed as the primary beneficiary and the trust established will distribute assets to her when she is 25 and 30 years old and she will then be able to act as the balancer when she turns 35. Since Anthony Bourdain’s daughter is still a minor, a guardian will be selected by the court to ensure that the inheritance is safeguarded. Trusts that pay out over a period of time are extremely popular for young beneficiaries to ensure that they do not face the challenges of getting a big inheritance all at once. 

A beneficiary can benefit from the assets that are inside over the long run and this information can be especially helpful and valuable for someone who is thinking about drafting a trust.

A will can be contested if it appears to have been procured through undue influence or if the person signing it was not capable of understanding the act or the will itself, among other reasons.

Although Anthony Bourdain’s will might become subject to passing up majority of the assets inside to his wife from whom he was separated, this is an important lesson for people to sit down with their experienced estate planning attorney to verify that any separated spouses are excluded from these documents and that legal details have been addressed.

 

Can Probate Really Take as Long as Six Months?

July 17, 2018

Filed under: Probate — Neel Shah @ 12:29 pm

One of the most common reasons for people to initiate the estate planning process early on is to avoid the process of probate. Probate is a public matter and one that can have substantial time and expense for your loved ones after you pass away. Not having a will or other estate planning tools means that your estate will transfer into probate. Any person who has to administer a deceased loved one’s estate knows that it can take up to six months after someone passes away or even longer in the event there are contests and challenges that emerge.

The word probate on a stamp on a big folder of paperwork

Assets that are governed by contracts, such as certain bank accounts and life insurance are governed by applicable roles inside the contract, but there are other assets that are governed by probate law. The value of contracts like bank accounts, real estate transfers and life insurance is triggered by death, and these have significant value related to affordability and speed. The probate process, however, can be extremely lengthy and frustrating largely because the primary purpose of probate is to ensure communication and fairness.

There is a great deal of grief associated with the passing of a family member, which means that other family members may become extremely impatient during probate administration. However, estate administration going through the probate process usually takes at least six months. The six-month period is because of the many different elements of closing on a person’s estate that needs to occur as soon as possible after someone passes away. Each of these stages, however, can take some time.

For example, all debts must be paid, all paperwork must be obtained and properly filed, and if someone comes forward to challenge the validity of the will or the estate itself, this can lead to additional challenges on behalf of the loved ones who were anticipating that probate would be closed out as soon as possible.

If you would like to streamline the probate administration process by conducting appropriate estate planning well in advance with the support of a lawyer, an estate planning attorney can walk you through every phase of what to anticipate and can help you avoid some of the most common missteps.

A lawyer can tell you the best strategies to use to avoid probate so that your loved ones can move on sooner rather than later.

 

What Makes Baby Boomer and Millennial Women Different with Regard to Wealth Planning?

July 16, 2018

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Whether it’s planning for your own retirement or even setting aside time to think about your legacy plan with your estate, you need to ensure you have a lawyer to support you. Women in particular must be concerned about long-term needs because they often live longer and must factor in these additional years.

Far too many women are unprepared for retirement and especially for the risk of long-term care needs down the road. If their spouse passes away, the challenges can amplify.

 

A study recently completed by RBC Wealth Management indicated that there has been a major change in the attitude about wealth shared between millennials and the baby boomer generation. Approximately half of boomer women who participated in the study said that they took the lead on financial planning, whereas up to 72% of millennial women were responsible for this area of their households. This trend was consistent across charitable giving, will planning and day to day banking.

Friends Together at Beach

The wealthier the household, the higher the chances were that a woman was leading the financial planning and was actively involved in the legacy and estate planning. For those households that had greater than $5 million in investable assets, women were the primary decision maker. Key differences also recorded in the study between the two generations were shifts away from thinking about money as a method of providing security, and instead towards the opportunity to do more for the world. Approximately 41% of boomer women said they intended to pass on their wealth to their children, whereas only 15% of millennial women responded the same.

A total of 65% of women classified as millennials felt that it was their responsibility to use their wealth to benefit society at large compared with only 52% of women in the boomer category. Women who are wealthy as millennials are much more likely to have developed their wealth on their own when compared with boomer women. If you have recently found yourself in the position of needing the services provided by an experienced estate planning attorney, now is the time to schedule a consultation to talk about leaving behind a legacy, asset protection and other important issues connected to estate planning.

 

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