The process of estate planning can be a bit confusing for small business owners, especially if there are partners in the business. How would things play out after the passing of one partner? This type of situation is often addressed through the creation of a legal device called a buy-sell agreement. Let’s look at the details. Buy-Sell Agreements We will explain by way of example. For the purposes of our example, you are one of three partners in a small business. The business is quite … [Read more...] about What Is a Buy-Sell Agreement?
Advanced Estate Planning
There are things that you can do to potentially transfer assets at a tax discount if your estate is going to be exposed to the federal estate tax. This tax is applicable on transfers that exceed the amount of the federal estate tax exclusion. For the rest of this year, the exclusion is $5.43 million, but it is going up to $5.45 million next year after an inflation adjustment is applied. If you are married, you can use the unlimited marital deduction to transfer unlimited assets to your spouse … [Read more...] about Estate Tax Strategy for Appreciable Assets
There are things that you can do to potentially transfer assets at a tax discount if your estate is going to be exposed to the federal estate tax. This tax is applicable on transfers that exceed the amount of the federal estate tax exclusion. For the rest of 2015, the exclusion is $5.43 million, but it is going up to $5.45 million in 2016 after an inflation adjustment is applied. If you are married, you can use the unlimited marital deduction to transfer unlimited assets to your spouse … [Read more...] about Estate Tax Strategy for Appreciable Assets
We regularly get inquiries from our clients who are recipients of an inheritance. An ever increasing asset that is being inherited is a retirement account such as an IRA. Special considerations must be attended to when inheriting an IRA because of their special characteristics. In this blog, we'll discuss some of these considerations. Don’t automatically request to cash in the IRA. The income tax repercussions could be great and there are better options. If you opt for a lump sum … [Read more...] about Tips When Inheriting IRAs
There are various different circumstances that can exist within a family. For example, there may be a child that you love who has special needs. The desire to provide for the child within your estate plan may be there, but you may be concerned about eligibility for Medi-Cal coverage. Before we proceed, let's provide some background information about Medi-Cal for those who may not know the facts. The Medicaid program is in place to provide a health care insurance safety net for people of all … [Read more...] about Don't Disinherit a Child With Special Needs
The acronym QTIP may conjure certain images outside of an estate planning context. For our purposes as estate planning attorneys, the acronym stands for a qualified terminable interest property trust. This type of trust can be useful if you are a parent who is getting remarried. Protecting Your Children If you are getting remarried as a parent, you may have estate planning concerns. Clearly, you want to make sure that you provide resources for your new spouse to draw from after you are gone if … [Read more...] about What Is a QTIP Trust?
Some form of asset protection should be included in every comprehensive estate plan. Regrettably, however, many folks foolishly opt for the cheapest estate plan they can find, whether it be a do-it-yourself plan or some form downloaded off the Internet. Others rely upon non-attorneys such as paralegals or financial advisers. Even some attorneys are guilty of poor planning work. They are usually lawyers who practice in several different areas of law, such as divorces, criminal, personal … [Read more...] about Basics of Asset Protection – Part 2 of 4 Parts
The term asset protection is heard a lot in planning circles. However, it has no definitive definition and its role depends on the context in which it is used. One aspect of asset protection is to protect the owner of those assets. Sometimes it refers to protecting those assets from possible seizure after a finding of liability, e.g., in a lawsuit. Other times it refers to legally minimizing or avoiding (not evading) certain tax liabilities such as the estate and gift taxes. Still other … [Read more...] about Basics of Asset Protection – Part 1 of 4 Parts
As we live longer, a marriage later in life is becoming more common with our aging society. That means changes to your estate plan are more crucial than ever. It also means the likelihood of new family members, from adult children to grandchildren and sometimes even great grandchildren. Social Security Benefits There are a number of dynamics that potentially play out when it comes to your social security benefits. Even if you’ve carefully prepared, you now have to consider more than just … [Read more...] about Marriage in the Golden Years
In this blog, we will address how eligibility for Medi-Cal long term care (LTC) benefits is established. Eligibility is essentially an asset test. For eligibility purposes, assets fall within one of three categories: countable (non-exempt), not countable (exempt) and unavailable (countable, but not counted). To be eligible for Medi-Cal LTC, an individual applicant's countable assets must be below $2,000. If the applicant is married, in 2015, the spouse can have another $119,220 of countable … [Read more...] about Medi-Cal Long Term Care Primer – Part 2 of 4