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Monday, December 16, 2019

Consider Estate Planning Before the 2020 Election

What changes could come to the field of estate taxation if a new President takes office?

The 2020 US election is fast approaching and the race for the presidency could have far-reaching effects. From an estate planning perspective, estate tax minimization may be particularly affected by the result. Estate tax receipts by the federal government have been dramatically diminished by recent changes to the tax code. In 2020, individuals with less that $11.58 million in assets and couples with less than $23.26 million in assets are exempt from the estate tax. Consequently, fewer than 0.1% of Americans die rich enough for their estates to owe any federal estate tax at all; out of roughly 2.7 million Americans who die each year, only the richest 1,700 are subject to the estate tax. Even these few taxable estates are taxed at the lowest rates since 1932. All the top Democratic presidential candidates have proposed changing federal estate tax laws to reduce the budget deficit and to combat wealth inequality. For high net worth individuals and couples who are interested in reducing their heirs' estate tax exposure, now is an ideal time to consider creating or updating your estate plan so that, in the event of a political shakeup, you have minimized your estate's tax bill to the fullest extent possible.


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Monday, November 18, 2019

Why Would You Want to Estate Plan to Avoid Probate?


Probate, the court-overseen process of settling the estate of a deceased individual, has become something people are always talking about avoiding. Probate, among many other things, involves the gathering of assets and the distribution of property from a decedent’s estate to his or her heirs. It is also the time when any creditors of the estate are paid. Unfortunately, like many things involving the legal system, there are drawbacks to probate. So many drawbacks, in fact, that more and more people are looking for ways to avoid the process either partially or altogether.
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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

What to Include in a Business Succession Plan

The most effective and comprehensive estate plan includes planning for all aspects of our lives that are important to us. It plans for family. It plans for loved ones. It plans for well-being, both health and financial. It also plans for things like business.


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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Why Establish an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust?


An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is a trust specifically established to own your life insurance policy for you. You establish the trust by transferring ownership of your life insurance policy to the trust. The fact that it is an irrevocable trust means that it cannot be rescinded, changed, or amended after it is created. Once you put your life insurance in the trust, you cannot change the trust terms or get back ownership of the life insurance policy you placed in the trust. 

You do, however, have great power as you are establishing the terms of the trust.
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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Current Laws Surrounding Cryptocurrencies


How do I best ensure my heirs receive my cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrency soared in popularity and value in recent years.  As more of our economy has moved to the digital world, it is perhaps no surprise that our currency is becoming digitalized.  Digital currency allows for ease of transfer at any time of the day. Over $335 billion is now held in cryptocurrencies. With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, laws and regulations have had to evolve to address concerns.
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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Common Causes of Probate Delays


There is a reason so many seek to avoid or limit probate proceedings when they are estate planning. For starters, probate can be expensive. Also, probate can drag on for quite some time.
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Friday, September 13, 2019

Contesting a Will


There are many reasons why the validity of a will may be challenged. In most cases, however, a family member may feel that he or she has been wrongfully cut out of a will or that the contents of the will do not appear to accurately reflect what they thought would be in there. Whatever the reason, there are several grounds upon which a person may bring a challenge to a will.
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Friday, August 16, 2019

Estate Planning for Smaller Estates


Will My Small Estate Need to Go Through Probate in Florida?

Some of us will have smaller sized estates. Perhaps you are just starting off in your career, single, or elderly, you may not have that many assets. Those with smaller sized estates may find themselves wondering whether they really need an estate plan and if so what that should be included within that plan. Our Read more . . .


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Undue Influence in Estate Planning


What Circumstances Could Give Rise to a Claim of Undue Influence?

An estate plan is intended to represent the last wishes and desires of its creator. With an estate plan, you can direct whom you want to receive your hard-earned assets, name a guardian for any minor children, and address your own healthcare needs. Sadly, at times, vulnerable individuals are pressured or tricked into creating an estate plan that does not actually represent their wishes. Undue influence is a significant issue in estate planning, particularly when an elderly or ill individual is involved. Our Read more . . .


Friday, July 19, 2019

What Are the Duties of a Guardian?


A guardianship is a legal relationship established between the guardian and the ward. When a person is deemed to be legally incapacitated, the court will establish a guardianship where the ward is the incapacitated individual and the guardian becomes a surrogate decision-maker, acting on behalf of the ward and appointed by the court. A guardianship may also be established for a minor who is not incapacitated, but still needs someone to look after them and act on their behalf.

The role of the guardian, in any circumstance, comes with substantial responsibilities that must be properly executed. A guardian can be held accountable for a failure to properly uphold his or her duties regarding acts taken on behalf of a minor or an incapacitated individual.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Funding Your Trust


What does it mean to fund your trust?

Revocable living trusts have become a preferred estate planning tool for Americans across the country. Trusts offer many advantages over wills, allowing the trust creator’s assets to pass to their named beneficiaries without the need for probate. Trusts can save your loved ones in tax implications, time, and stress. For a trust to function correctly upon your death, however, you will need to do more than just sign the trust document. A trust should be properly funded so that your assets will correctly transfer upon death.
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