No Clawbacks Allowed: What Does This Mean for You and How to Take Advantage of This Gift

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the gift and estate tax exclusion amount—i.e., the amount that can either be excluded from your estate when determining if your estate will owe any taxes when you pass away or the amount you can gift to individuals during your lifetime without owing any taxes—which had previously been $5 million (adjusted each year for inflation) per individual.…

E-state Planning Alert: SECURE Act: Problem or Opportunity?

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act). The SECURE Act, which is effective January 1, 2020, is the most impactful retirement legislation of the past decade. It increases the age for required minimum distributions from retirement accounts from 70 ½ to 72 years of age. However, among the many provisions in the new law…

Steps to Take When a Loved One Dies

As your estate planning attorneys, we are here to help you when your family member or loved one dies.  If you are simply too overwhelmed to call us during the first couple of weeks after your loved one passes away, it is important to keep in mind that there are several practical and legal considerations that the person named as the executor of the estate…

Estate Planning Awareness Week: Why Does Estate Planning Matter to Your Clients?

In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to a 2019 survey carried out by Caring.com, 57% of adults in the United States have not prepared any estate planning documents such as a will or…

Estate Planning Awareness Week: Having a Conversation with Your Family About Their Estate Plan

In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to a 2019 survey carried out by Caring.com, 57% of adults in the United States have not prepared any estate planning documents such as a will or…

My Loved One Has Died – What Do I Do Now?

When a family member or other loved one dies, grief and shock can sometimes be overwhelming. The last thing most people want to think about is making phone calls or funeral arrangements. Some things do not need to be done immediately, but there are some steps that should be taken soon after the loss of your loved one. We hope the following guide will help…

Your Fall “Legal Affairs” Checklist

With the fall season approaching, it’s an excellent time to review your affairs. Below is a checklist to ensure your planning meets your needs and is up-to-date: When was your power of attorney last updated? A power of attorney is a valuable legal document, no matter what the circumstance. Not only is it flexible and can be prepared to meet your particular needs, but it…

Why would anyone want to refuse an inheritance?

Although it is surprising to many, there are several circumstances when declining an inheritance can be beneficial. The law does permit you to refuse an inheritance if you comply with certain strict requirements. The legal term for a refusal of an inheritance is a “disclaimer,” which is defined as an irrevocable and unqualified refusal to accept an interest in property. We call a “disclaimer” a…

The ABCs of RLTs

You may have heard of a revocable living trust (RLT), which is a commonly used estate planning solution. But what exactly are they, who is affected by them, how can they be changed, and what do they accomplish? What Are They? Trusts, which are legal entities that hold title to property for the benefit of a living person, are often used as an alternative or…

Tax Strategies to Move Your Clients Forward

The 2019 estate tax exemption is $11.4 million per person, up from $11.2 million per person in 2018. According to the Tax Policy Center, only 4,000 federal estate tax returns were filed this year, with only 1,900 of those returns owing tax. Some industry experts estimate that less than one percent of all estates are taxable federally.  Put another way, over 99 percent of all…

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