estate planning Archives

Compelling reasons for creating comprehensive estate plans

Georgia residents may have heard about Donald Trump's plan to repeal the federal estate tax, or, as he calls it, the "death tax." However, individuals with estates valued at $5.49 million or less in 2017 won't have to pay any taxes. Couples may combine their individual exemptions, which means that they wouldn't have to pay federal estate taxes on $10.98 million in assets. There is also no tax when assets are passed from one spouse to another.

4 myths about long-term planning that you should be aware of

Whether you are 25 or 75, the reality is that no one likes to face the end of their mortal lives or think about it on a day-to-day basis. The harsh truth is that it is necessary to prepare no matter how old you are. If you want to have plans in place to distribute your assets, settle your estate and care for yourself and family members once you are unable, then you must have some type of long-term plan in place. As scary as it is to face your own mortality, the right thing to do it to be prepared for anything that comes your way.

Reasons to make an estate plan despite uncertain tax law

Georgia residents may wonder whether they should delay creating an estate plan since tax laws may be changing under the Trump administration. However, there are many benefits to certain estate planning tools, such as irrevocable trusts, that do not depend upon taxes. In particular, irrevocable trusts can protect assets from spouses in the event of a divorce or from creditors. Furthermore, it may be very difficult to predict what may happen with tax laws. There may be a sunset provision that makes it short term, or any changes might be overturned again by another administration.

Important advice for proper estate planning

Estate planning may be uncomfortable for Georgia residents of any age. However, there are basic steps that should be taken to ensure that an estate doesn't get bogged down in legal challenges for months or years. First, it is important for people to calculate their assets and liabilities to determine their net worth and see if any assets will fall outside of probate.

5 things to think about before disinheritance

You tried your best as a parent and did all you could to give your children the best in life, but it turns out you really have no control over their decisions when they get older. It can be frustrating and painful as a parent to watch a child turn to drugs, gambling or other destructive behaviors. As you prepare your will or trust and plan for your estate after you die, you may have concerns about your assets and hard-earned money going to a child who may ultimately throw it down the drain. Do you have the option to disinherit your child and leave them out of the will?

Preparing for extenuating circumstances in estate planning

Georgia residents might want to include clauses in their estate plan that address the possibility that a beneficiary may die at the same time or shortly after they do. People whose assets are commingled might want to consider a simultaneous death clause. This chooses one person to be considered the one who died first if time of death cannot otherwise be determined. Another tool is the survivorship deferral that addresses the issue of an individual's beneficiary dying shortly after the individual. With this clause in place, the assets would then be distributed as though the beneficiary died first.

Learn more about valid signatures on a will

Georgia residents may know that a will has to be signed to be considered valid. In most cases, it must have the signatures of two witnesses as well as the person who created it. It is often a good idea to have the testator sign the will at the same time as the witnesses to that document. However, as long as the witnesses know that the will is valid, they can sign it at another time.

How laws pertaining to estate taxes may change

While Georgia residents are not likely to be directly affected by a repeal of the federal estate tax, such a repeal could affect the capital gains tax associated with estates, and this might affect a larger number of people. However, this does not necessarily mean that waiting until the new administration takes office and passes new laws is the best approach. Any estate plan made at any time might always be created in an environment in which laws could change. Therefore, what some people might want to do is go forward with a plan based on existing law with an eye to the possible changes ahead.

When a spouse is reluctant about estate planning

Georgia couples might reach an impasse when one spouse wants to undertake estate planning and the other does not. In the absence of that spouse's cooperation, a person can still take steps to inventory assets that are held jointly and individually. Knowing what a spouse's assets are and how to access them might be important if that spouse dies and the other spouse becomes the estate's administrator.

3 basic essentials of any estate plan

Regardless of the amount of wealth and assets Georgia residents have, a well-documented estate plan allows them to declare their personal wishes at the end of life or in the event of mental and physical incapacity. Financial advisers and attorneys typically agree that estate plans need a will, a durable power of attorney and an advanced health care directive.

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Johns Creek Office
11555 Medlock Bridge Road, Suite 100
Johns Creek, GA 30097

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1755 North Brown Road, Suite 200
Lawrenceville, GA 30043

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