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Estate Planning: Estate Tax, Gift Tax, Elder Care, etc.

Estate tax, gift tax and elder care planning are not just for the super wealthy.  Not only can it provide more for ones heirs.  It can help protect you and your heirs during difficult life events.

Death Is Inevitable. Financial Turmoil Afterwards Isn’t” 20170113 NYT
“There are …plenty of details that people can attend to in advance that can avoid some measure of stress when the time comes.

2015-2016 Estate Planning Key Numbers

Why You Should Update Your Estate Plan” 20140703F
An estate plan needs to be updated for many changes in your life and changes in the tax laws.

“Who’s Inheriting Your 401(k)?” 20140404WSJ
If you do not update your beneficiary the funds could go to a unintended recipient

“Laws for Older Adults”
2013 July Illinois General Assembly Legislative Research Unit

2014 Key Estate Planning Numbers

“When It’s Time to Manage Dad’s Money” 20131108WSJ
“Being a Fiduciary is a Big Job, and It’s Easy to Screw It Up”

“Why Your College-Age Children Need an Estate Plan” 20130921WSJ
These issues relate to everyone.  Adult students and single individuals may be overlooking these issues.

“How to Dismantle a Trust” 20130620WSJ
“Investors are looking for safe ways to terminate trusts they no longer need.”

“Aging, alone – It’s never too early to take responsibility for your golden years” 20121010TN
Focus the discussion how life should end.

“What a Tangled Web We Leave” 20130202WSJ
Some of the issues discussed include: the intenet, joint accounts and beneficiary designations.

2013 Estate Planning Key Numbers

In Writing Her Will It’s the Little Things That Matter 20121113NYT
This discussion highlights the importance of having a will, even for singles.

Key Estate Planning Documents – 2012 October

Reflections of a retired estate planning attorney.

“Survivors’ Biggest Mistakes” 20111111MW
This article focuses on mistakes relating to: IRAs, Portfolios, Portability (estate tax exemption) and Social Security.

“Get an Estate Plan. Now” 20111018WSJ
Good summary and useful links.

“Key Estate Planning Documents You Need” 20111017
Helpful article.

“IRS Clarifies Estate Rules” 20111008WSJ
A U.S. estate tax return must be filed to preserve any unused estate tax exemption for a surviving spouse.  Many estates that are not otherwise required to file estate tax returns will file U.S. estate tax returns because the amount of the estate exemption in the future is unknown.

IRS issued a notice that an estate tax return is required to be filed to preserve the portability of the estate tax exemption.

“What’s Mine is Yours: IRS Issues Estate Tax Portability Guidance” 20110930F
An estate tax return is needed to pass any unused estate tax exclusion ($5 Million for 2011) for the surviving spouse.

“Estate Executors: An Honor…and a Pain” 20110919WSJ
Discuss with the person you want to be your executor, or a trustee, before the documents are drafted.

“When your Child’s a Spendthrift” 20110919WSJ
Planning is required if their is a child, or any heir, that is or could be a reckless spender or have difficulty dealing with financial priorities.

“Wills: Leaving One Heir Less” 20110910WSJ
What is fair may not result in an equal split.  Take steps to see that an unequal share can be defended.  Communicating the reasons when alive can eliminate problems for your heirs.  Another approach is to leave a written explanation with the reasons for the unequal split.

“A To-Do List for the Surviving Spouse” 20110829YF
A very good resource.

“Make This Estate Planning Moves Now” 20110810SM
Double checking the beneficiary designations annually does not take much time, but can prevent your intentions from controlling who benefits from your assets.

“How Dad’s planning helped us cope with his death” 20110801CNBC
Financial planning includes estate planning.  Having a plan for the unexpected can reduces the financial stress at an emotionally stressful time.

“When Estate Plans Fail” 20110723WSJ
Pets and the unborn are the less common issues that must be considered in estate planning.

“PINs That Needle Families” 20110723WSJ
It can be very frustrating, expensive, and/or time consuming to access computers and online accounts without passwords and user names.  Now is the time to make sure that this information is available after your death.

“Loss of Spouse Checklist” 2011July
A checklist can be helpful at one of the most stressful times.

“Beware the Beneficiary Form” 20110706WSJ
The importance of this can not be over-emphasised.  What seem like logical choices can result in serious problems, delays and taxes.

“The 25 Documents You Need Before You Die” 20110702WSJ
Your survivors need to be aware of your plans and have easy access to the appropriated documents.  This article discuses the documents and how they should be organize.

“Power Grab!” “The Battle Over Power-of-Attorney Documents”  20110514WSJ
Although this article is directed toward the aging population, it has important points that apply to most people.

“Five Tips for Caring for Elderly Loved Ones” 20110512MW
Thinking a head can improve can improve future care.

“Why Most People Need an Estate Plan” 20110322SM
Not just the “wealthy” need an estate plan.  Among other situations where an estate plan is beneficial ar if you have children or if you become disabled.

“A Matter of Trust: Giving Away a Home” 20110319WSJ
The combination of depressed real-estate values and the current (2011-2012) $5 million gift-tax exemption may make this a good time to consider a Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT).

2010 – 2011 Estate Planning Key Numbers

“The Talk With Mom and Dad” 20110223WSJ
Starting these discussions early generally results in a better process for making the many decisions involved.

Family Businesses Catch a Big Break” 20110219WSJ
The $5 million gift tax exemption for 2011 and 20112 may accelerate transition and exit planning for family businesses.

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