FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is estate planning important?
To protect from income taxes, estate taxes, unnecessary probate costs, lawsuits, and loss of assets to creditors or in laws.
What should you expect when you hire an attorney?
Personal, professional attention. All questions answered and an “in person review”
What are some unique circumstances that require special care?
Special needs trusts: For children with disabilities.
Second marriages: Careful planning is necessary to provide for spouse and then control ultimate distribution to children from first marriage
Asset protection: Leaving assets in trust to protect from mismanagement, loss In divorce, lawsuits, creditors claims and estate taxes
COMMON PLANNING MISTAKES TO AVOID
Failing To Plan
If you don’t create an estate plan, then the state has a plan for you. The results may or MAY NOT be what you wish. Also, not having an estate plan increases the likelihood of family disputes, unintended results and unnecessary costs and taxes being due.
Failing To Co-ordinate Beneficiary Designations With Your Plan
If you fail to name a beneficiary or you name your estate as the beneficiary of your IRA or 401K, then the plan will have to be distributed within five years of death. This can be quite costly.
Failing To Shelter Your Credit
In the case of a husband and wife, if all assets pass by operation of law to the survivor because they are owned as “joint tenants with right of survivorship” then you could WASTE one spouse’s credit amount. Wasting your credit can be costly.
Failing To Remove Insurance Proceeds From Your Estate
Allowing insurance proceeds to be EXPOSED to the federal estate tax is a mistake that can be avoided
Failing To Leave Assets "In Trust"
Leaving assets outright and free of trust can leave these assets EXPOSED to frivolous spending by immature beneficiaries, claims of equitable distribution in a divorce proceeding, claims of a loved ones’ creditors and estate taxes in loved ones’ estate.
The moral of the story is…
when it comes to Estate Planning, mistakes are things you want to avoid. A little planning can make a big difference