January, 2018 | Shah & Associates, P.C. Estate Planning & Business Law Blog
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Top Concerns for High Net Worth Clients in Light of New Tax Changes

January 17, 2018

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

Many people are taking the opportunity to look at their current estate plans and tax plans in light of new tax laws in the U.S. While everyone can benefit from a regular review of their estate planning tools, high net worth clients have the most to gain from setting up a time to talk about estate planning and asset protection planning.

There are a number of different tax implications for wealthy families currently facing the restructuring of their estate and tax plans. Trusts can provide valuable protection from divorcing spouses and creditors and also enhance the control of an individual over how a beneficiary inherits wealth. 

This is particularly important for families that have addiction, mental illness, or spendthrift considerations. Furthermore, trusts can be used to help preserve wealth for numerous generations.

Since numerous different states will have their own estate tax regimes and you may own property in multiple states at the same time, anyone who owns property or resides in those states should continue to plan around these state level taxes.

For very high net worth clients who still have exposure to the federal estate tax or live and own property in states with their own estate tax, traditional wealth transfer strategies identified by an experienced estate planning lawyer can be helpful.

                                                                                                                

The New Tax Laws and Property Taxes In New Jersey

January 16, 2018

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

Are you getting ready to file your tax returns in New Jersey? Many people who rushed to pay their 2018 property taxes before December 1st will not be able to deduct this expense from their 2017 state income taxes, according to research from the New Jersey Society of CPAs. The IRS recently issued instructions that certain 2018 pre-payments were deductible from federal income taxes in 2017. plan for taxes and estates with a lawyer

While this is true at the federal level, the same is not true for state income taxes. Homeowners may be in for an unfortunate surprise when they realize that their attempts at end of year planning to increase their federal property tax deduction will have no impact on their exact 2017 New Jersey income tax returns.

Setting aside a time to talk to an experienced estate planning attorney in New Jersey can give you a great deal of peace of mind and clear planning strategies for your best interests. You need to look to the year ahead and ensure that you’re using strategies that both work for you as well as truly protect your interests.

It can be a minefield to try and decipher tax laws on your own. Thankfully, however, with the help of a lawyer this process can be made that much easier. Sitting down with an attorney and walking through your current strategies to identify whether or not they will still work for you is a valuable exercise and one you should consider carefully.

How Assets Are Distributed: What You Must Know

January 15, 2018

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

If you do not have an estate plan, the state will create one for you by intervening on your behalf. When you pass away, virtually all of your assets are distributed in one of the following ways. learn what happens to your assets when you pass away

These can include:

  • By state law or by will: Anything that isn’t distributed by beneficiary or by ownership will pass through state law. Many people believe that they don’t need a will because they will assume that their spouse will receive everything by ownership or by beneficiary. While that may be true, if both of you were to suffer in an accident together, this can raise significant questions.
  • Beneficiaries: You usually will name beneficiaries on life insurance plans, health insurance, savings accounts, and retirement plans. These will pass outside of the probate system because they refer to the specific paperwork you filed directly with those account managers.
  • Ownership: If your property was owned by joint tenants with survivorship, the asset will immediately be transferred to remaining surviving owners. If you own your home with a spouse, for example, the spouse will automatically get it. However, you may have other real estate interests that have not been clearly laid out in your estate plan.

You need to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you navigate this process and ensure that you have considered all potential angles in putting together your estate plan.

 

 

The Top Four Retirement Risks

January 11, 2018

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

As you look ahead towards your own retirement, do you think you’ve done enough planning? In volatile times, it’s hard to tell what kind of risks you might face years into the future when it’s time for retirement. You need the support of a team of professionals who can help you guard against major retirement risks. 

A solid income plan should always be used to avoid problems with your retirement. If you thought that saving for retirement was difficult, your nest egg needs to be protected well after you reach age 65 or the age at which you intend to retire. Some of the most common risks include taxes.

If you have a silent partner in Uncle Sam because you have been putting away money in a tax-deferred retirement plan, you could be putting yourself at risk for less income than you expect. In addition, investment risk, inflation risk, and legacy and estate risk can all pose problems for you, if you do not have the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. When you know how you intend to get to retirement and what you will do to protect your assets once you get there, you will feel much more confident in the management of your estate and the fact that you have done everything possible to minimize potential risks.

Top Things Entrepreneurs Get Wrong in Running a Business

January 10, 2018

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

There are so many different risks to think about and potential growth opportunities affecting entrepreneurs that far too many of them fall prey to missing out on important planning opportunities. One of these includes not preparing for a lawsuit well before it happens. Most entrepreneurs only worry about this after a lawsuit has been filed or after an accident has occurred. However, at this point, options are limited.

Being an entrepreneur comes with a long to-do list, but it’s still important to consider that protecting your risks is a worthwhile endeavor. Asset protection planning is one worthwhile goal. 

Some advanced asset protection planning carried out with the assistance of a lawyer can help you. You don’t want to commit what is known as a fraudulent conveyance, such as moving money around to avoid losing it to a lawsuit once the lawsuit has already been filed. The best time to plan for asset protection planning is when there is no risk in sight. If you plan appropriately, you may be able to settle lawsuits for very little compared to the potential exposure.

The crucial aspect of this is having a comprehensive plan drafted by an estate planning attorney so that those assets cannot be taken from you.

What Did Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson And Prince All Do Wrong?

January 9, 2018

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

 

The deaths of icons Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Prince rocked the world, but unfortunately, left their families burdened and broken-hearted with estate taxes and fees. Despite having professionals to help with practically every aspect of their lives, none of these artists had a total estate plan, which ultimately ended up costing their heirs millions of dollars and what would have otherwise been avoidable taxes and legal fees. avoid these estate planning mistakes

An estate plan is crucial for the peaceful transfer of assets from your generation to the next. However, even if your estate doesn’t include things like private amusement parks or music rights, there are still takeaways from these artists’ situations to avoid the same costly mistakes. Even though Prince, for example, had paid all necessary taxes without audits from the IRS and had appropriately valued assets, he left no will when he died.

This means that more than 45 people ultimately came forward claiming to be heirs, including nieces, half siblings, siblings and supposed children, which cost the estate tremendous amounts in legal fees to investigate this and respond to it. In order to avoid these challenges, schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney, regardless of the size of your estate. You can get your own peace of mind and ensure that your beneficiaries receive the assets to which they are entitled well in advanced.

Don’t Forget a Successor on Your 529 Plan

January 8, 2018

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

A 529 plan is one of the most common methods for people to plan ahead for their children with regard to education. 529 plans are used by parents as well as grandparents to leave behind assets for a child’s use in college and beyond. The importance of naming a successor, however, cannot be understated. 

You should contact your 529 plan manager for the form to submit both primary and secondary successors. The account holder will submit the form naming the successor as the new account owner and if the owner dies unexpectedly, the primary successor assumes all control. Remember that the successor has all the rights of a traditional account owner.

That means he or she can choose to change the beneficiaries, so this should be somebody you trust. Scheduling a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney who has helped many other people gather the necessary strategies and tactics to protect investments and assets for college education is important. Sitting down and walking through what you intend to do with your assets, including 529 plans and naming successors and secondary beneficiaries on all of your accounts can give you greater peace of mind that your wishes will be followed in the future.

Do Estate Planning Now If Nursing Home Could Be in Your Future

January 4, 2018

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

Planning ahead can make things easier for you and your loved ones, even if you are not currently affected by a disability or a medical condition that could lead you into a nursing home. If you do comprehensive estate a minimum of five years before you would need to enter a nursing home, you can help to protect a large portion of your assets from having to be spent on long-term care. Seniors may wish to consider getting some of the assets out of their own name and into their kids’ names. An estate planning attorney and a financial advisor are both recommended, so that you avoid consequences associated with poor Medicaid planning.

Trust planning to help protect your assets can still enable you to have control over the distribution of these assets and know that you will likely be entitled to take advantage of Medicaid when it becomes available to you. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney is often the first step in identifying what you need to do to protect your loved ones. Although it might seem difficult to look into elder law planning many years before you might actually need it, it is often these unexpected surprises that can generate concerns for you and your loved ones. Avoid a guardianship proceeding and other challenges associated with long term care planning, by scheduling a consultation with an estate planning lawyer today.

Wealthy Individuals Must Not Forget Art Planning

January 3, 2018

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

Many wealthy individuals set aside time to sit down with an experienced estate planning attorney to talk about how their bonds, stocks, private equity and more are passed down to heirs. However, they frequently leave out their art collection and do not allow beneficiaries to have the appropriate information to have it valued and protected. 

The Art Basel, Miami Beach BS Study called ‘For the Love of Art’ showed that up to 87% of current art collectors intend to pass their collection down to their children, but nearly 60% have not told their heirs how to sell it, appraise it or manage it. The UBS study was part of a bigger research project, looking at more than 2,400 investors that had at least a million dollars in investable assets. For the purpose of the art collection study, 363 art collectors were evaluated.

Many children of art collectors do intend to keep the art that their parents pass down, up to 81%, in fact. However, less than half of those art collectors have even had their art appraised, which is a crucial step for protecting the valuable pieces now and well into the future.

Business Succession Planning Faces Major Opportunities in Coming Years

January 2, 2018

Filed under: Business Succession Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Historically low interest rates have been a major catalyst for economic growth in the last several of years, but this has also led to a surge in private equity firms that are looking to invest in a broad range of small and medium sized businesses. 

This means that there is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the owners of these companies to become new millionaires and to raise their value significantly. Research collected by BizBuySell inside reports showed that a historic number of small businesses were sold in 2017’s third quarter.

This represented a 24% increase in the number of small businesses sold than the year before. Furthermore, Thomson Reuters shares that private equity funds generated more than $340 billion in 2016 and there has been a 12% increase in the number of private equity funds over the course of this year. Since the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates throughout 2018, now is the appropriate time to schedule a consultation with the business succession planning attorney to talk about the pros and cons of doing your planning now.

Most Commonly Overlooked Aspects of Elder Law

January 1, 2018

Filed under: Elder Law — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Planning ahead for elder law is just as important as considering your estate and your retirement planning. Unfortunately, despite the fact that elder law has become more popular and widely practiced by attorneys in recent years due to the number of people nearing and reaching retirement, elder law mistakes can still be made that can compromise the integrity of your estate plan and make things more difficult for you or your children.hire an elder law attorney to help you

Some of the most common failings in elder law planning include not addressing any of the following issue, such as:

  •   Transferring your assets to your beneficiaries in the manner and in the time frame you want.
  •   Protecting your assets from the cost of comprehensive long-term care and the qualifications for government benefits.
  •   Choosing trusted individuals who are able to manage your affairs if you are disabled.
  •   Keeping your assets in your own bloodline and protecting them from the future claims of creditors, lawsuits and divorce as associated with your children.

Furthermore, you will also need to consider the benefits of doing everything you can to avoid a guardianship proceeding. This can allow a judge to appoint someone else to step in and manage your affairs, if you are unable to do so and if you have not explained your desires for who is eligible to step-in in this case.