What happens if illness, injury, or age-related dementia renders you unable to make decisions or communicate your wishes regarding your health care or financial affairs? Unless your estate plan addresses these situations, your family may be forced to seek a court-appointed guardian. Health care arrangements are particularly important because your wishes won’t necessarily coincide with […]Continue reading

With the federal gift and estate tax exemption now at a record high $11.58 million for 2020, most estates aren’t taxable. But that doesn’t mean making lifetime gifts isn’t without significant benefits — even if your estate isn’t taxable under the current rules. Let’s examine reasons why gifting remains an important part of estate planning. […]Continue reading

In a world that’s increasingly paperless, you’re likely becoming accustomed to conducting a variety of transactions digitally. But when it comes to your last will and testament, only an original, signed document will do. The original vs. a photocopy Many people mistakenly believe that a photocopy of a signed will is sufficient. In fact, most […]Continue reading

If you’re going through a divorce, you probably feel a little overwhelmed by all the legal and financial items you must attend to before the marriage termination is final. These tasks can be difficult, but revising your estate plan doesn’t have to be. What the law says Divorce generally extinguishes your spouse’s rights under your […]Continue reading

You may use a qualified disclaimer to refuse a bequest from a loved one. Doing so will cause an asset to bypass your estate and go to the next beneficiary in line. What are the reasons you’d take this action? Here are five reasons: Gift and estate tax savings. This is often cited as the […]Continue reading

It’s August, and that means it’s time to get ready to go back to school for many students. If your child recently graduated from high school and is heading to college in the next few weeks, besides assembling the essentials — such as clothing, toiletries, bedding and a laptop — consider having your child “pack” […]Continue reading

Transferring a family business to the next generation requires a delicate balancing act. Estate and succession planning strategies aren’t always compatible, and family members often have conflicting interests. By starting early and planning carefully, however, it’s possible to resolve these conflicts and transfer the business in a tax-efficient manner. Ownership vs. management succession One reason […]Continue reading

Concealing a Trust Could Run Afoul of State Law BY THEUS LAW OFFICES You may have good intentions in keeping a trust a secret from its beneficiaries. Perhaps you have concerns that, if your children or other beneficiaries know about the trust, they might set aside educational or career pursuits. Be aware, however, that the law [...]Continue reading

Using a revocable trust — sometimes referred to as a “living trust” — is a common estate planning strategy to manage one’s assets during life and to avoid probate at death. For the trust to be effective, you must “fund” it, meaning transferring ownership of your assets to the trust. Perhaps you have collectible automobiles […]Continue reading