A Last Will and Testament is the very minimum of estate plans that every individual should have drawn up, regardless of estate size or family situation. A will expresses your desires for your assets after you are gone. Your personal representative probates your will in the probate court of your county of domicile, and distributes your assets according to your wishes. If you die without a will, you die intestate, and the courts will ultimately distribute your estate in accordance with the laws of intestate succession in your state.
A Revocable Living Trust is a popular way to pass assets to loved ones without going through the probate process. Using a Trust instead of a will as the cornerstone document of an estate plan allows the family to avoid the public process of probate and protects the privacy of family matters. Any estate plan, no matter how complex or how simple, in order to be considered complete, requires financial powers of attorney, powers of attorney for health care, and in some states, a separate living will.
An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust is a vehicle to house a life insurance policy, effectively removing it from your estate. Most know that life insurance proceeds paid to beneficiaries are not subject to income tax; however, many people are not aware that those same proceeds are subject to estate taxes. Using the ILIT reduces your overall estate size, allowing more of your estate to pass to your heirs.
A CRT is a statutory entity created by Section 664 of the Internal Revenue Code and can be extremely beneficial under the proper conditions. If a family has estate tax issues, has highly appreciated property that would be subject to capital gains taxes, and desires a lifetime income stream that resembles a guaranteed pension, a CRT should be considered. If it fits, the end result of using a CRT would be avoidance of the capital gain tax, avoidance of the estate tax, a guaranteed income stream for life, and an income tax deduction that can be used with current taxes.
A statutory entity that provides unique protections to the business and its owners. Like the other types of business entities, the LLC has its own particular reasons for its existence. The primary reason to use an LLC is that it affords “partners” protection against the acts of each other.
A statutory entity that provides unique protections to the business and its owners. Like the other types of business entities, the Corporation has its own particular reasons for its existence.
Probate is the legal process of settling the affairs of a person that has died. The probate process in its entirety can take several months to a year to complete and is completed when all claims against an estate have been resolved, and assets are distributed to the legal heirs and beneficiaries.
Depending on the complexity of your estate, we recommend using a Revocable Living Trust (RLT) to avoid the probate process and protect the privacy of family matters.