Joint trusts offer clients many benefits both during life and after death. Those with joint trusts need to understand the limitations inherent in the trust and the importance of seeking qualified counsel upon the death of the first spouse to ensure that the trust administration runs smoothly. A recent Michigan case highlights what happens when the surviving spouse fails to do that or simply ignores the terms of the trust altogether. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about The Joy in Joint Trusts
The IRS’ Annual Warning: The 2023 Dirty Dozen
As another tax season closes, it’s a good time to review the list of “Dirty Dozen” tax schemes published by the Internal Revenue Service for the year. Many of these schemes peak during tax time and involve fraudsters looking for ways to steal taxpayers’ money, personal information, and data. Attorneys can help their clients by alerting them to these scams and providing advice on how to avoid them. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about The IRS’ Annual Warning: The 2023 Dirty Dozen
How Tax and Non-Tax Considerations Impact Estate Planning – Part II
People often believe that Estate Planning is a “simple” process designed only for those whose estates will exceed the Applicable Exclusion Amount of $12.92 million in 2023. That myopic view causes many who should undertake Estate Planning to skip it altogether or to look for ways to complete the planning on their own without the services of a qualified Estate Planning attorney. As the last article in this two-part series demonstrated, numerous taxes impact Estate Planning. This second part of … [Read more...] about How Tax and Non-Tax Considerations Impact Estate Planning – Part II
How Tax and Non-Tax Considerations Impact Estate Planning – Part I
Estate planning often focuses on taxes at the federal level and often overlooks issues that occur at the state level. For anyone desiring to undertake comprehensive estate planning, it’s important to understand the impact that the taxes imposed by the individual’s state of residence have on the plan as well as the character and type of assets allowed by the state. Estate Planning is complex and requires an expert in these matters to advise clients properly. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about How Tax and Non-Tax Considerations Impact Estate Planning – Part I
What’s in President Biden’s Revenue Proposals?
Retirement plans offer a terrific opportunity for taxpayers to save for their retirement in a tax-deferred way. While several types of these plans exist, most individuals have some level of familiarity with the Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”). IRAs have limits on the allowable contributions and a schedule regarding when distributions need to begin occurring. Recently, the Biden Administration released its Fiscal Year Revenue Proposals for 2024 that contained a provision regarding … [Read more...] about What’s in President Biden’s Revenue Proposals?
When determining whether an individual qualifies for Medicaid, states impose both functional and financial tests. Functional means that the applicant must demonstrate medical need. Financial means that such an individual must demonstrate financial need. With proper planning though, it’s possible to meet the financial need prong even if assets exceed the threshold amount set by the state. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Medicaid Planning
What Bruce Willis Can Teach Us About Incapacity Planning
When Bruce Willis announced his retirement from acting because of aphasia, it sent shockwaves through Hollywood and across the country. Just a few weeks ago, Bruce’s family indicated that the disease had progressed to frontotemporal dementia highlighting the importance of incapacity planning. While Estate Planning typically focuses on planning for what happens at death, a comprehensive Estate Plan includes provisions regarding what happens during life should an individual become incapacitated. … [Read more...] about What Bruce Willis Can Teach Us About Incapacity Planning
The Intersection of Bank Failure and FDIC Insurance
Three banks have collapsed in one week sending shockwaves through the banking industry. Many may wonder if their deposits are safe. Thankfully, the Federal Deposit Insurance Company insures deposits up to a certain amount and there are ways for individuals with deposits exceeding those amounts to gain coverage as well. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about The Intersection of Bank Failure and FDIC Insurance
What Does the Respect for Marriage Act Mean for Estate Planning?
When the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 576 U.S. 644 (2015), Estate Planning practitioners took note. Justice Clarence Thomas, in his concurring opinion, indicated that it would be appropriate to revisit that were decided on substantive due process rights. This led Trust and Estate attorneys to question whether Estate Planning for same-sex couples needs to change. President Biden answered the question in the negative by signing into law the … [Read more...] about What Does the Respect for Marriage Act Mean for Estate Planning?
Understanding Undue Influence – Part II
Whenever a client’s Estate Plan deviates from the expected disposition, it raises questions for the slighted beneficiaries. These questions usually revolve around methods to have the plan overturned. Most states give clients tools to protect their carefully crafted plans, even after their death. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Understanding Undue Influence – Part II