Articles Posted in Estate Planning

ThinkstockPhotos-531922230-300x200

The number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States is growing rapidly. So, too, are the number of myths surrounding the disease and other forms of dementia. Let’s begin by looking at what we do know about the prevalence of Alzheimer’s before investigating some of the more common myths.

Approximately 5.5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. Of these, some 5.3 million are 65 years of age or older. In addition:

 

  • One in 10 people 65 and over has Alzheimer’s disease
  • Nearly two out of three Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women
  • African-Americans are approximately twice as likely as older Caucasians to have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia
  • Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older Caucasians
  • As the population grows older, the number of new cases of Alzheimer’s disease is expected to soar
  • Today, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease every 66 seconds. By 2050, this figure is likely to increase to one new case every 33 seconds

Now let’s look at some of the most common myths surrounding Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Continue reading

There have been many reports of unintended consequences related to the use of online wills over the past few years.  In fact, I have written about many of these issues on this blog.

It is important for individuals to understand that there is a difference between a document and a plan.  While both contain words it is the way those words are used that determines the difference.  Many Internet forms are generic and may not allow the permit the person named to manage the assets the powers necessary to properly manage or protect the assets. For example, in order to sell the testator’s property, the executor may have to obtain the court’s permission, and consent of the beneficiaries.  This can create additional costs and delays in the distribution of the assets.

This can be important when dealing with a homestead where the asset is not typically subject to probate.  If the homestead is owned by a trust and the house needs to be sold, the trustee can determine if a distribution or sale of the asset is best.  When an individual does not have a will or creates an online will, the home is typically not subject to probate and will pass outside of probate.  This can cause problems including delays and thousands of dollars in additional costs when some of the beneficiaries want to sell the home, and others do not.

How a Community Property Trust Can Save Tens or Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Capital Gains Taxes
Community property trusts can save your clients tens of thousands of dollars in capital gains taxes, and that is just one of their many benefits. This lesser-known strategy is not necessarily the best fit for all couples either because of their assets or state of residence. However, for households you work with that can make the most of them, it is a planning tactic that could have a significant impact on keeping more of the value of their estates in the family.

These trusts offer a huge benefit to couples who take advantage of them. There’s also a lot to gain for their financial advisors. Thanks to the double step-up for property held in this type of trust, your clients will retain a significant amount of wealth that would otherwise go to the IRS because of capital gains tax. So it is a solution that provides better cash flow for your clients and more assets under management for you: a win-win for all parties.

What is community property, and what is a community property trust?

Continue reading

How Does A Step Up In Basis Work?

Capital gains taxes are one of the more confusing taxes that American citizens have to pay.  The best way to explain capital gains taxes is through examples.  This article will include plenty of examples, but in an attempt to define these taxes, capital gains taxes are the tax accessed on an asset when it is sold and has increased in value.

Capital gains taxes are a percentage of what a person buys the asset for (the “basis”) and what the amount the property was sold at (the “step-up”).    Most assets have a tax basis, and generally, this is the amount a person paid for the property originally.   When you inherit an asset, the basis is usually set at the amount the property is worth on the day of the transfer.

It is important to know how much an asset is worth on either the day the asset was purchased or on the day the owner dies and the property is transferred.  Once the property is sold, the tax will be accessed on the difference between the first value and the amount the property was sold for.  Most people pay about 15 percent on the difference.  Higher earners may have to pay as much as 23.8 percent capital gains tax.

Continue reading

Estate Planning for Millennials

Millennials are growing up and doing so fast, and as we all know, young adulthood is full of important milestones.  Florida millennials are now graduating from college, landing their first “adult” jobs with benefits such as 401k matching, life insurance, and pension plans.  This generation is now starting to make big decisions such as buying homes and starting families.  Now is the time that millennials should start to begin estate planning.

Estate planning has the stigma of being something that only the elderly and the terminally ill consider.  However, estate planning is much more effective when started at an early age.  No one can predict the future, and every person benefits by having a will, trust, and a power of attorney.

The great thing about estate planning is that you can adapt and change the plan as needed.  You don’t need to wait until you are married and have children to create the plan.  Moreover, you still have many friends, loved ones, and relatives that you may wish to pass assets or control your financial and health care decisions if you become incapacitated.  If you ever become married, divorced, or have children the estate plan can always be modified.

Continue reading

Estate planning has many benefits, with one of the best being that it allows our clients to have peace of mind.  This peace of mind comes from knowing that your family members can be taken care of if something happens to you.  This type of estate planning is especially important if you have minor children.

Parents are often so busy that they don’t have time to think about planning for their death or incapacity.  A parent’s time is often spent thinking about getting kids to school, helping with homework, and providing a good lifestyle for their children.  Unfortunately, tragedy can strike without warning, from an unexpected illness, on a highway, or as a result another catastrophe.

Continue reading

Jacksonville Estate Planning For Single Parents

One of the best aspects of Jacksonville estate planning is that every plan can be tailored to a person’s life and specific needs.  In Jacksonville, Estate planning is important for every person, but it is even more important when you are a single parent because estate planning can directly benefit minor children.

There are several issues that single parents need to consider with their Jacksonville estate planning attorneys.  These are some of the common issues that single parents should consider.

Continue reading

Florida Asset Protection Trusts and Domestic Asset Protection Trusts Can Be Effective Prenuptial Agreements

Planning for a divorce is never easy or fun, but divorce is an unfortunate reality in today’s world where almost half of all marriages end in divorce.  Without legal planning, a spouse seeking a divorce is likely entitled to an equitable portion of the marital property.  The traditional way to protect property from a divorce was through a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement; now there may be a better alternative by using a Florida asset protection trust.

So what happens if there is no legal planning?  If the married couple fails to plan for the dissolution of marriage adequately, then the division of marital property will be left to the discretion of a judge during the process of an expensive and time-consuming divorce process.
Continue reading

In Florida it can be crucial to do Estate Planning For Second Marriage

More and more Americans are getting remarried which is causing estate planning to become more complex.  People are living much longer than in the past, which means that the rate of remarriage is occurring at a much higher frequency.  A second marriage adds new obligations and rights for the new people in your life, while still keeping the obligations from your first marriage.

The effect of multiple marriages is that it could create multiple claims on a person’s estate.  Many estate planning issues can be resolved with careful planning.  Here are some key issues for estate planning for a second marriage.

1. Length of the New Marriage

The first issue that is common in estate planning is the duration of the subsequent marriage.  For instance, say a person has a spouse with early Alzheimer’s.  This person also has a retirement plan that named his children outside the marriage as beneficiaries.  The couple has been married for eight years, and the person would be destitute without the spouse’s IRA.  It may be time to think about changing the estate plan to include the new spouse, which would desperately need the funds from the retirement plan.

2. Children from the First Marriage or outside the current marriage

Continue reading

Yes A Spendthrift Provisions Can Protect Against Civil Judgments

What is a Spendthrift Provision? One of the best forms of asset protection we can provide is through a trust that contains a spendthrift provision.  In a revocable trust, a spendthrift provision has some significant benefits such as protection against your beneficiaries’ creditors.

So what exactly does a spendthrift provision do?  A spendthrift provision is a provision within a revocable or irrevocable trust that limits the beneficiary’s access to trust.  This restriction protects the trust property in two ways, it prevents a beneficiary from selling his or her interest in the trust property as a beneficiary, and it prevents the beneficiary’s creditors from compelling the trustee to make distributions except where this would void public policy like in the case of alimony, child support and some civil judgements.
Continue reading

Contact Information