No way! Married people need estate plans. Some folks think that because they own assets jointly with a spouse, they don’t need an estate plan. In fact, joint ownership is called a “poor man’s estate plan.” In reality, it should just be called a “poor estate plan.” Joint tenancy ownership is riddled with perils. Likely, the most serious peril is the unintentional disinheritance of your children. Sadly, it happens too often because of joint ownership. This is what can happen when you … [Read more...] about Married People Don’t Need Estate Plans, Right?
Families argue. It's not the most shocking statement ever made because it's true and we all know it's true. However, it's a more shocking opening than the actual subject of this post: families argue about money. It's a universal truth and a statement that should not surprise anyone. Yet, many people do not think about it when they are making their estate plans. It does not matter how much wealth, or lack thereof, you leave behind, your family may well have arguments about it. Not everyone will … [Read more...] about Family Arguments
A lot of people have talked about the amount of wealth that Mitt Romney has accumulated. Some people see that as a negative against him. Some see it as a positive in his favor in the Presidential campaign. This is not a political post. This is a post about how he might have used estate planning tools to help generate that wealth. In 1995, Romney created a Family Trust. It has since grown to have $100 million in assets. He's been able to do that without ever having to pay gift taxes on his on … [Read more...] about How Did the Romney Trust Grow?
Most of us can not plan when we will pass away. It could happen tomorrow or in 20 years. The inability to plan for when you will pass away can create problems for your estate. Because the estate tax changes almost every year, you need to have a flexible estate plan that can absorb those changes. If you die in 2012, the estate tax only affects estates that are over $5.12 million. If Congress does not manage to pass legislation by the end of the year, that will change. The estate tax exclusion … [Read more...] about Flexible Estate Plans