Trusts and Estates

Planning for Complex Estates

Our first article looked at the documents you need to pass on your estate. Here’s a look at the professionals whose help you might also need and the special trusts used to whittle the tax bill of complex estates.

Readying Estate Documents

Death and taxes: Probably you rarely want to discuss either. This first of two articles looks at how what documents help account for both certainties, though, when planning your estate.

Estate planning involves arranging the transfer of your assets after you die, in line with your goals and wishes. The latter usually include reducing taxes and other expenses, maximizing wealth flow to your survivors and descendants and providing for charity.

Protecting Inherited IRAs

Your own individual retirement account is generally exempt from the reach of creditors, but an inherited account may not be. If you plan to pass on an IRA to heirs, read on to learn how to better safeguard the money.

Largest Wealth Shift Looms

A huge amount of assets will move from baby boomers to their millennial offspring over the next decade, according to the chief of a leading investment firm during National Financial Advisor Week.

“This will be the largest transfer of wealth in history,” said Nicholas Schorsch, executive director of the board of RCS Capital, who estimated the amount millennials will inherit at $30 trillion.

Curbing Taxes on Inheritances

Inheriting appreciated assets from your deceased spouse can bring a host of financial complications at the time of life when you already have too much on your mind. Here’s the math to know how to be prepared – and maybe save on taxes.

Estate Planning: The Heirs

The murkiest part of estate planning is to discuss when and how to distribute your assets to your heirs. This process requires a series of considerations and trade-offs to avoid emotion-laden family problems.

Up to now in our series of articles we focused on numbers, which are objective and straightforward. But when it comes to this final set of issues, things get gray because emotional factors drive decisions now. There is no correct answer on how to distribute your estate.

Bad Decisions in Old Age

What if you lose your mental capacity in later years and make irrational financial choices? How can you safeguard your assets from that threat?

After three decades as a financial planner, I see more and more clients reach, not just retirement, but their final years. An issue that becomes especially important at this stage of life is how to protect your financial resources from an unexpected threat – yourself.

Estate Planning: Dividing It

When you die, who gets your money? Your kids, you’d think. But before the money reaches your heirs, the government and creditors take their share first.

Now that you know the estimated amount you have to give, most of the math is over. The rest of the calculations have to do with who gets what proportion of your assets.

Estate Planning: Your Worth

The decisions you make now about where your assets go after your death can affect people’s lives profoundly. This three-part article walks you through some of the basic issues involved with estate planning. This initial part is figuring out how much your estate is worth.

Most people avoid thinking about, let alone planning for, their death. And yet making arrangements can be a liberating experience. Relieving your families of the burden of having to do it for you is also a demonstration of consideration, kindness and love.

Protecting Special-Needs Kids

More than 56 million Americans have some type of disability, according to the Census Bureau. Autism, for example, affects one in 50 children. For parents of a child with a disability, the great fear is: “What happens when we’re gone?” One answer: Set up a trust for the child. Here is how.

To support a special-needs child during and beyond your lifetime requires truly special planning. Not only are there more costs and uncertainties but also heavier emotional weight.

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