There are several myths and misconceptions surrounding estate planning that sometimes pop up. For example, some people believe that the state of California will inherit your property if you don't make a will or create some kind of estate plan. While this is possible, it is very rare. The process through which the state inherits someone's property is called escheat. Let's take a look at it and why it rarely happens. You can choose who inherits your property. In order to pass on your … [Read more...] about Will The Government Inherit Your Estate?
Everyone knows that an estate plan can ensure your chosen beneficiaries receive the right inheritance. But did you know there are other benefits too? Here’s five things a good estate plan can for you. Protect Against Disability – No, your estate plan can’t prevent disability from striking but it can certainly ensure that you and your estate are protected if it happens. Using an Advanced Health Care Directive and General Durable Power of Attorney can ensure that your medical wishes are … [Read more...] about Five Lesser Known Benefits of Good Estate Planning
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have issued a challenge to the world’s most wealthy individuals. They asked their fellow billionaires to make a pledge to give away at least half of their wealth to charitable causes over the course of their lives.Both of these gentlemen have practiced what they preach. Gates has donated billions of dollars to his own Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett has given Berkshire Hathaway stock valued at over $10 billion to the Gates Foundation. Though few have … [Read more...] about What is a Donor Advised Fund?
A charitable trust is an excellent way to accomplish a number of estate planning goals all at once. If giving to a cause dear to you heart is important to you, then creating a trust allows you to do so even after you are gone. In addition, you can structure a trust to provide for both a charity and non-charitable beneficiaries by creating a lead or a remainder split interest trust. Both lead and remainder trusts may also offer tax and probate avoidance benefits as well. Whether you decide on a … [Read more...] about Charitable Trusts — Lead or Remainder?
If you have been fortunate enough to be in a position during your lifetime to donate to charitable causes, then you may wish to continue doing so long after your death. Just as you make plans to provide for your family members and loved ones after your death, you can include charitable giving in your estate plan as well. A thorough consultation with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney is, of course, necessary in order to incorporate your charity into your estate plan; however, … [Read more...] about Estate Planning and Charitable Giving — Key Points
As we advised in last month’s newsletter, the “Secure Act” was part of a larger law that passed with (rare) bipartisan support in late-December 2019. It was effective January 1, 2020, for most purposes. This is the second in a series of articles on the Secure Act. The first article looked at the basics of the Secure Act. This article examines planning strategies for dealing with the Secure Act. As laid out in the first article in the series, the Secure Act requires more rapid distributions of … [Read more...] about Planning for the SECURE Act
Typically, charitable lead trusts and charitable remainder trusts are implemented when your estate exceeds the federal estate tax exemption. This qualifies both charitable trusts as “advanced” estate planning tools. Besides lessening or totally avoiding the federal estate tax, there are income tax, capital gains tax, and charitable intent benefits as well. Simply put, the charitable lead trust provides an income stream to your favorite public charity for a period of years (up to 20) or … [Read more...] about Let’s Talk About Charitable Trusts
You may think that charitable planning has sunk into nonexistence. The extremely large (i.e. $11.18 million in 2018 an) lifetime federal estate exemption has made many question the need for charitable planning. However, charities are pleased to announce that charitable giving remains strong in the United States. What are the common ways to participate in charitable giving? Lifetime gifts Private foundations Donor advised funds Bequests Charitable remainder trusts … [Read more...] about FAQ: Charitable Planning
The importance of trusts in estate planning is seen in their ability to minimize estate taxes and hopefully avoid probate. A trust is basically a fiduciary agreement, one based on trust and confidence, between the person making the trust (grantor) and the trustee. This agreement gives the trustee the authority to manage the assets of the trust and distribute those assets to the beneficiaries as specified in the trust agreement. There are several different types of trusts with their own … [Read more...] about Trusts Can Satisfy Many Different Objectives
A charitable gift annuity also offers benefits to the donor as well as to a designated charity. As the donor, you would make a one-time gift of cash or securities (though some states allow gifts of property or closely held stock as well) to a charity. In return, the charity will provide you with annuity payments for life from the charity. You determine when the annuity payments begin. Topics covered in this report include: The Gift and Estate Tax Tax Benefits of Gifting Direct Gift Family … [Read more...] about Free Report: Charitable Gifting in California Through Your Estate Plan