Estate planning attorneys around the country will always emphasize how important it is for gay couples to plan ahead because they have no protections under state intestacy laws of succession.Unmarried committed couples would have no rights with regard to medical decision-making on behalf of domestic partners either. But since gay marriage is legal here in New York we don't have to worry about estate planning, right?The answer is a resounding no. First of all, do you think a heterosexual … [Read more...] about Gay Couples Must Plan Ahead–Even In New York
What Are the Gift Tax Exclusions in New York? from Mark Eghrari Lifetime gifting to avoid the estate tax was possible shortly after the enactment of the death tax in 1916. However, to close this window, a gift tax which is now unified with estate tax, was put in place. … [Read more...] about What Are the Gift Tax Exclusions in New York?
If you ask the typical layperson what he or she knows about estate planning in many cases the answer is going to be "Not a whole lot."Everyone is aware of the existence of a last will as a way to express your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets after you pass away. However, aside from that most people have not taken the time to learn much about estate planning.However, when you do understand the facts you see a different picture. Simply drawing up a last will stating who … [Read more...] about Take Our Estate Planning IQ Quiz
A grantor retained annuity trust can be part of your estate plan if you are exposed to the federal estate tax. In this post we will look at the "zeroed out" grantor retained annuity trust strategy. First, we must provide some background about the federal estate tax parameters.Exclusion and Maximum RateAt the end of 2010 a tax relief act was passed that set the estate tax exclusion at $5 million in 2011. This act called for annual adjustments to account for inflation. A couple of years later, … [Read more...] about What Is a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust?
In this post we are going to look at the value of irrevocable life insurance trusts. However, before we examine these trusts, we must provide some background information.Federal Estate Tax ExposureAn irrevocable life insurance trust can be useful if you are exposed to the federal estate tax. When you are planning your estate, you should evaluate all of your taxable resources so that you know if you do in fact have any estate tax liability.During the current calendar year, the amount … [Read more...] about What Is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust?
A qualified personal residence trust can be useful when you are exposed to federal transfer taxes. There is a federal estate tax, and there is also a federal gift tax. These taxes are said to be unified by the Internal Revenue Service.Unification of Gift and Estate TaxWhen the estate tax was first enacted in 1916, there was no federal gift tax. As a result, people could just give gifts while they were living to avoid the estate tax. To close this loophole, a gift tax was put into place … [Read more...] about What Is a Qualified Personal Residence Trust?
You have to be concerned about preserving your wealth if you have been financially successful throughout your life. There is a federal estate tax that carries a hefty rate, and it can significantly erode the wealth that you are passing along to your loved ones. In 2014, the maximum rate of this tax is a robust 40 percent, so we are talking about a rather large bite.This is not the only federal transfer tax. If it was, you could give gifts while you are living to avoid the estate tax. To … [Read more...] about What Is the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax?
There is no one size fits all estate plan, because everyone is in a different situation. It is not always as simple as drawing up a last will splitting up a pie that is going to be easily divisible.For example, if you are a small business partner, you will naturally have a number of concerns that company employees will not have to address. As a small business partner you must decide what will happen to your share of the business after you pass away.You may want to spread the value of … [Read more...] about Estate Planning for Small Business Partners
You should prepare for the contingencies that you may face toward the end of your life when you are planning your estate. There are some realities that sober minded individuals must confront, and some of them may not be particularly pleasant. At the same time, you must address all eventualities if you want to be optimally prepared for the future. With this in mind, let's look at the matter of adult guardianship.Court Appointed RepresentativeA very significant percentage of senior citizens … [Read more...] about What Is the Difference Between a Guardianship and a Power of Attorney?
To effectively plan your estate, you must carefully consider the specific needs of each person on your inheritance list. There are numerous different ways to facilitate asset transfers. The best course of action will vary on a person by person basis. When you act in an informed manner, you can prevent unintended negative consequences. With this in mind, we would like to explain the value of special needs trusts.Government Benefit RecipientsMany people who have disabilities are enrolled … [Read more...] about When Would I Want To Use a Special Needs Trust?