This post is a follow-up from a previous entry that examined certain types of asset transfers that take place outside of the legal process of probate. To provide a quick review, a will would be admitted to probate by the executor, and the court would provide supervision.The probate process is costly and time-consuming, and probate records are available to all interested parties because it is a public proceeding. These drawbacks negatively impact the rightful heirs, so people who are aware of … [Read more...] about This Estate Planning Tool Provides Sweeping Benefits
It is important to understand the fact that there are many different estate planning approaches that can be taken. You never have to settle for an asset transfer method that you do not feel entirely comfortable with, because you can rest assured that other options exist.With this in mind, let’s look at the value of incentive trusts.Constructive GuidanceThe best way to explain the way an incentive trust can be used is through the presentation of a simple example.Let’s say that you are … [Read more...] about An Incentive Trust Can Provide a Solution
When you prepare your estate plan, there are formalities required. In most states, a Will must be signed by the testator (the person whose property is governed by the Will) and that signature must be witnessed by two people and notarized by an official notary. The rules vary a little from state to state. For example, in some states, three witnesses are required. In other states, a Will need not be witnessed by others, as long as it is entirely in the handwriting of the testator and signed by the … [Read more...] about Building Flexibility into Your Plan
A living trust is a very useful estate planning tool that can be a great alternative to a last will. Why would you look for alternative?People who think that a will is the best choice because the heirs receive inheritances quickly with no hassles are sorely mistaken. If you use a will to state your final wishes, you would name an executor to act as the administrator. This person would not be able to act in a vacuum.Under the laws of the state of Kansas, the will would be admitted to … [Read more...] about Consider a Shared Living Trust
Some people think that they do not need a will because the state will step in and take care of everything appropriately. In fact, there are some very good reasons why everyone should have a will or some other estate planning document, and we will give you a quick rundown in this blog post.The Condition of IntestacyIf you pass away without a will, the condition of intestacy would exist. Under these circumstances, the probate court would supervise the estate administration process during … [Read more...] about Do I Really Need a Will?
People often have questions about inheritances and taxation, and they are usually pleasantly surprised when they hear the answers. First, heirs who receive bequests do not have to report them as taxable income, so that can seem like a break, but it is only fair.This is because an estate is comprised of property that was retained after the decedent paid taxes throughout his or her life.Another positive from a tax perspective is the step-up in basis for appreciated assets. If you inherit … [Read more...] about Are You Aware of the Gift Tax?
One of the major reasons why you should seek out personalized attention from a licensed estate planning attorney is because there are some minute details that you may not consider. Some of them are going to be naturally relevant to you, and others could be if you are aware of the possibilities. We will provide some clarity in this post.Latter Life Decision-MakingPeople naturally think about the events that will take place after they pass away when they are involved in their getting their … [Read more...] about Three Estate Plan Components You May Overlook
First, we should explain why you may want to use a living trust. If you have a will, or think you should use a will, you may be surprised when you learn more.A revocable living trust is a very useful alternative to a last will, and the avoidance of probate is a major benefit. Why is this something that you may want to avoid? The answer is that it comes with a number of drawbacks that negatively impact the inheritors.When a will is used, it must be admitted to probate, and the heirs do … [Read more...] about Who Should Act as Your Trustee?
This is the third in a three-part series of articles on Powers of Attorney. The first article examined the Financial Power of Attorney. The second article examined the Healthcare Power of Attorney and Advance Directive. This third article in the series focuses on a “HIPAA” Authorization. These three documents are the keystone in even the most basic estate plan.Earlier in the series, we saw that a Power of Attorney is a document by which you appoint someone as your “Agent” to act on your … [Read more...] about The Basics: “HIPAA” Powers
This is the second in a three-part series of articles on Powers of Attorney. The first article examined the Financial Power of Attorney. This second article examines the Healthcare Power of Attorney and Advance Directive. The third article in the series will focus on a “HIPAA” Authorization. These three documents are the keystone in even the most basic estate plan.As outlined in the first article in the series, a Power of Attorney is a document by which you appoint someone as your “Agent” to … [Read more...] about The Basics: Powers of Attorney for Healthcare