If you didn't know better you may assume that revocable living trusts are only beneficial to people who have complicated portfolios and an extraordinary store of assets. But in fact, these trusts can be very useful for "the rest of us," and you should not discard the possibility of utilizing such a vehicle when you are planning your estate. One of the best reasons for choosing a revocable living trust would be to avoid probate. Unless you arrange for asset transfers outside of probate through … [Read more...] about Living Trusts Examined
When you bring up the subject of estate planning to the typical layperson he or she is usually going to equate the exercise with drawing up a last Will. Indeed, putting your final wishes into writing via a well constructed, legally binding last Will is certainly an option. It is interesting to note that in certain jurisdictions one can execute an oral will by stating his or her intentions verbally with witnesses present. This would be done under extreme circumstances when death was imminent and … [Read more...] about Types Of Wills
Sometimes you can be lulled into a false sense of security because you feel as though you have taken a step that provides protection on some level without actually seeking professional guidance. This is something to beware of when you consider the value of payable on death accounts. These accounts, sometimes referred to as transfer on death accounts, allow for a beneficiary to assume ownership of the resources that remain in the account after the death of the primary account holder. While this … [Read more...] about Are POD Accounts A Trap?
It is possible to make a long-term difference within your family and outside of it when you are planning your estate assuming you have the necessary financial resources. Legacy planning involves asking yourself how you would like to be remembered, what you can do for others, and ultimately setting the wheels in motion to make your vision a reality when the time comes. Giving something back to worthy causes can be a part of your legacy planning efforts. There are a number of different ways of … [Read more...] about Legacy Planning: You Can Make A Long-Term Difference
It comes as a surprise to some people that there can be a tax imposed on your assets after you pass away. The extent of the taxation can vary depending on where you happen to reside in the United States. When you examine the facts you find that here in South Carolina we are rather fortunate in this regard. To understand these taxes you have to know the difference between an estate tax and an inheritance tax. The estate tax is imposed on the entirety of the estate before it is passed on to the … [Read more...] about Inheritance Tax & Estate Tax: One And The Same?
One of the reasons why it is important to consult with a good South Carolina estate planning lawyer when you are making preparations for the future is because each case is unique. Depending on your line of work and your specific financial situation any number of approaches may be appropriate, and as a layperson you are probably going to need professional guidance if you are serious about making the right choices. Consider the case of the entertainer and composer Ray Charles. As a songwriter he … [Read more...] about Rights To Ray Charles Compositions Challenged
It is always especially sad to hear about someone passing away at a young age, and this was the case with the singer Amy Winehouse. The British songstress died last July at the age of 27, joining the ranks of music stars like Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain who passed on at the same age. At the time the British tabloids were reporting that Amy Winehouse had a last will in place that excluded her ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, an individual who is serving prison time. She was said … [Read more...] about Early Winehouse Estate Reports Prove To Be False
Back in 2010 there was a lot of uncertainty within the estate planning community. During that year the estate tax was repealed because of a provision contained within the Bush era tax cuts. But the tax relief act that provided this repeal was scheduled to sunset at the end of 2010. At that time the estate tax was going to return according to existing laws. The maximum rate of the tax was set at 55% and the exclusion amount was to be $1 million. These figures represented a step backward from … [Read more...] about As Year Progresses Clouds Of Uncertainty Gather
If you want be optimally prepared for the future it is important to have a savvy South Carolina estate planning lawyer carefully evaluate the nature of your assets. All resources are not created equal; the exact form of certain assets are going to dictate the optimal course of action when you are developing a long-term financial plan with the well-being of your loved ones in mind. Along these lines, if you have highly appreciable securities you may want to consider implementing the zeroed out … [Read more...] about Forbes: Zuckerberg & Moskovitz Used Zeroed-Out GRATs
You have to be careful about believing everything that you hear, and this is especially true when it comes to matters of estate and financial planning. There are some urban myths circulating out there, and if you buy into them you could wind up failing to take the appropriate actions. This could ultimately lead to asset erosion as your resources are being passed along to your loved ones someday. The misguided notion that we would like to highlight here is the assertion that the federal estate … [Read more...] about Don’t Let Misconceptions Lead To Asset Erosion