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Beware these 5 estate planning pitfalls

If you’re taking your first steps on your estate planning journey, congratulations! No one likes to contemplate his or her mortality, but having a plan in place can provide you and your loved ones peace of mind should you unexpectedly become incapacitated or die. Here are five basic pitfalls you’ll…

Making Will Revisions by Hand is Rarely a Good Idea

The laws regarding the execution of a valid vary from state to state, but typically they require certain formalities. These may include signing the will in the presence of witnesses and a notary public. But what happens if, after your will and other estate planning documents are completed, you need…

Comparing inter vivos and testamentary trusts

Creating and adhering to an estate plan is no simple task. Generally, the end goal of estate planning is to divide up and transfer assets to loved ones at minimal or zero tax cost. Of course, a will is a good starting point, but it may be supplemented by various…

Addressing your Elderly Parents in your Estate Plan in 5 Steps

Typically, an estate plan includes accommodations for your spouse, children, grandchildren and even future generations. But some members of the family can be overlooked, such as your parents or in-laws. Yet the older generation may also need your financial assistance. How can you best handle the financial affairs of parents…

Take care of a loved one who has special needs with a special needs trust

When creating or revising your estate plan, it’s important to take into account all of your loved ones. Because each family has its own unique set of circumstances, there are a variety of trusts and other vehicles available to specifically address most families’ estate planning objectives. Special needs trusts (SNTs),…

Yes, Your College-Age Child Needs an Estate Plan

Even though college students typically don’t have many assets, it’s still critical for them to consider having a basic estate plan in the event the unexpected happens.  Consider meeting with an estate planning attorney to discuss putting in place at least these four documents if an unforeseen incident occurs while…

Year end is gift-giving time: Use the annual gift tax exclusion to the max

This holiday season you might be considering making gifts of stock or cash to family members and other loved ones. By using the annual gift tax exclusion, those gifts — within generous limits — can reduce your taxable estate. Indeed, in 2023, the annual gift exclusion amount is $17,000 per…

Two estate planning documents working in tandem: A living trust and a pour-over will

At the very least, your estate plan should include a legally valid will governing the disposition of assets upon your death. But comprehensive estate planning often goes much further. For instance, you may provide for transfers of assets to a living trust (also known as a revocable trust) to supplement…

Avoiding probate: How to do it (and why)

Few estate planning subjects are as misunderstood as probate. But circumventing the probate process is usually a good idea, and several tools are available to help you do just that. Why should you avoid it? Probate is a legal procedure in which a court establishes the validity of your will,…

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