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March 2017 Archives

Should I update my will if a beneficiary's circumstances change?

Once you've crafted a will, there a number of instances in which you might need to consider updating it to ensure its efficiency and to account for circumstantial changes for those involved. It is common to update a will if you yourself experience a great change in your own life circumstances, such as a marriage, divorce or the gain or loss of a significant asset. However, it is also wise to consider changing a will when one of your beneficiaries undergoes a significant life change.

Granparents may cover preschool tuition, skip gift tax

If you're like many grandparents, you are always on the lookout for creative ways you can spread around your good fortune and resources to the ones you love, especially your grandchildren. While it is well-established that you can avoid a great deal of taxation by putting money aside for your grandchildren's higher education, but you may also be able to put resources toward preschool and doge the gift tax with a little careful planning.

Fear of new laws shouldn't govern estate planning

As the new administration continues its tour of shaking up every corner of the country's establishments, the estate planning industry has been holding its breath, waiting to see what new laws may be passed soon that could have huge impacts on estate plans throughout the country. Many estate planners are concerned, and rightly so, that the administration's desire to repeal the estate tax may render years of hard work useless overnight. While it is certainly true that a drastic change in the law could have large effects on the industry, this is no reason to put off important estate planning completely.

Michael Jackson estate mess raises concerns

If you're a resident of California, there's a decent chance that you may face issues that other residents in different states don't face — especially if you're a celebrity of some type. One issue that people with a recognizable (and marketable) likeness face when estate planning, unlike many other people, is how to plan around the value of themselves and their own image after they pass away. Recently, the estate of Michael Jackson ran into a host issues on the matter.

Can you create a will that prevents a fight over your estate?

Estate planning is generally intended to ensure your assets get distributed to your heirs in the way you want them to be. All too often, despite the best efforts of a person to create a last will and estate plan, their family members don't agree. People will happily fight their family members in court if they believe they will get even a little bit more of the estate.

California proposes state-level estate tax

if you've been following the news, it has been consistently dominated by the various actions of the Trump administration, which has been making a number of controversial moves in its first 100 days. One of the areas that President Trump has promised to address in the near future is the federal estate tax, which currently commands 40 percent of an estate's value above $5.49 million per person. If Trump has his way, the law may shift from a tax on overall estate value to a proposed tax on capital gains. However, California, which often pioneers progressive policies, is proposing a state-level estate tax — even if the federal estate tax is repealed.