I often get asked, “What is a power of attorney?” A power of attorney is a document that authorizes your chosen individual to act on your behalf when you cannot act for yourself. Generally, it’s affective at the time of your incapacity, or at a specific event of your choice. Your power of attorney can be revoked by you at any time, or it is automatically revoked at your death. Most importantly, you should select a power of attorney agent with great care and you must have a tremendous amount of … [Read more...] about What is a Power of Attorney?
ESTATE PLANNING FAQ’S
Yes. Portability must be elected on a timely-filed federal estate tax return. This is the case even though a federal estate tax return would not otherwise be required, such as if the estate of the deceased spouse is below the threshold for federal estate taxation. … [Read more...] about Must an estate tax return be filed if portability will be utilized?
Portability is where the surviving spouse can use the amount of federal estate tax exclusion that their deceased spouse left unused at their death. Portability has been part of the law since 2011, though it was temporary until 2013. … [Read more...] about What is portability?
A state estate tax is a tax levied by a state government upon the estate of a deceased person. It is levied in much the same way as the federal estate tax. A state inheritance tax is a tax levied by a state government that varies depending upon the relationship of the inheritor to the deceased person. Many states have a separate state estate or inheritance tax which kicks in at a lower level than that of the federal government. … [Read more...] about What is a state estate or inheritance tax?
The federal estate tax is a tax levied by the federal government upon the estate of a deceased person. The federal government gives certain exclusions and deductions and then taxes everything above a set level. … [Read more...] about What is the federal estate tax?
YES, but you would be better off choosing an attorney whose practice is focused on estate planning. Members of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys receive continuing legal education on the latest changes in laws affecting estate planning, allowing them to stay on top of the latest laws and techniques to help you meet your needs. … [Read more...] about Can any attorney create a Living Trust?
I’m often asked, “Is a revocable living trust only for the rich?”. The answer is no. Revocable living trusts are for anyone who wants to protect his or her family from probate court, probate fees, and estate taxes. If you own a home, or several pieces of property, you absolutely need a trust. More importantly, a trust protects your assets from Medi-Cal recovery. It also protects your children and your other beneficiaries from creditors and possibly divorced judgements. … [Read more...] about Are Living Trusts Only for the Wealthy?
NO. The Living Trust has been authorized by the law for centuries. The government really has no interest in making you or your family suffer a probate that will only further clog up the legal system. A Living Trust avoids probate so that your estate is settled exactly according to your wishes. … [Read more...] about Is the Living Trust some kind of loophole the government will eventually close down?
YES. In fact, all real estate should be transferred into your Living Trust. Otherwise, upon your death, depending on how you hold the title, there will be a death probate in every state in which you hold real property. When your real property is owned by your Living Trust, there is no probate anywhere. … [Read more...] about Can I transfer real estate into a Living Trust?
NO. The purpose of creating a Living Trust is to avoid living probate, death probate, and reduce or even eliminate state and federal estate taxes. It’s not a vehicle for reducing income taxes. In fact, if you’re the trustee of your Living Trust, you will file your income tax returns exactly as you filed them before the trust existed. There are no new returns to file and no new liabilities are created. … [Read more...] about Will a Living Trust avoid income taxes?