Estate Planning Articles
If you are wisely attempting to put some assets into a trust (inter vivos) in your lifetime, then you have been paying attention to the important differences between wills and trusts. A trust created during your life will be far more secure with respect to its ability to withstand challenges to how your assets are to be distributed during estate planning than a will.
Not too many years ago life insurance was considered to be the indispensable platform upon which all other estate planning efforts should be based. In fact, for those in the median and lower income ranges, it was often the only recognized method for protecting one's heirs, particularly in the event of untimely death.
Every state has statutes and mechanisms in place that deal with disposal of tangible assets whether the deceased had a will or not. Families might fight over who gets the house, the cars, the stocks and the cash, but there is generally no question about where such property is located.
Looks at the history of property law and over views the life estate as an instrument of wealth transfer and how it helps to get the answer to the difficult questions associated with estate planning.
The creation of offshore trusts and other financial plans is a way of shielding your assets from the laws of the nation in which you reside. It can sometimes be used to remove one of the two certainties of life; taxes. Americans are far less likely than the citizens of other countries to put assets abroad because, although when you receive the benefits of being free of your country's laws regarding assets (namely taxation) you also lose the aspect of those laws that are designed to protect your assets.
"I am taking you out of the will," or "I am going to disinherit Gregory and leave all my money to Steven," are statements that seem far more like they belong in an Agatha Christie novel than in a serious discussion of estate planning.
Expert Author: John Erik Fraker, Esq.
A living trust can help you reduce your estate tax liability to Uncle Sam. To see how this tax reduction works, let's examine the following hypothetical case: Client Family has an estate of $4 million. The husband dies in 2006, leaving his entire estate to his Wife. Under the 2006 tax rate, each spouse is entitled to an exemption of $2 million (known as Unified Credit Amount), which is not subject to Federal Estate Tax. Any amount over $2 million is subject to taxation at a rate up to a maximum of 46 per cent.
The first question many people have when considering estate planning is how to protect their spouse in the event that they pass away. Although it is common to offer the advice that a will or trust is the best way to protect a surviving spouse, it is also important to remember to explain what protection a spouse has prior to a will or trust being created in which they are a named as an heir or beneficiary.
Over views what constitutes a trust being revocable and/or becoming irrevocable. Reminds individuals that unforseen illness or disaster could create circumstances that require revocation of a trust.
If a person passes on without estate planning of any kind, whether that planning is some kind of will or trust, they are said to have died intestate. Intestate law is the law that decides how assets are transferred and creditors satisfied if a person passes on without saying who gets the house, the car or the guarded family apple pie receipt.
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