Estate

Succeeding At Business Succession

According to a recent study by U.S. Trust, 64% of millionaire business owners over 50 have no formal succession plan.¹ While the number may shock you, it is not surprising that many small business owners are consumed by the myriad responsibilities of running their businesses. Nevertheless, owners ignore succession planning at their peril, and possibly at the peril of their heirs. There are a number of reasons for business owners to consider a business succession [...]

2018-11-29T17:59:34-04:00Estate|

Problems With Probate

Many people have heard they should avoid probate, but few understand what probate is and how the process works. What Is Probate? Probate is the legal process that wraps up a person’s legal and financial affairs after their death. During the probate process a person’s property is identified, cataloged, and appraised. In addition, probate makes certain any outstanding debts and taxes are paid. It can be a complex process, filled with very specific legal requirements. [...]

2018-11-29T17:57:20-04:00Estate|

Trends In Charitable Giving

According to Giving USA 2017, Americans gave an estimated $390.05 billion to charity in 2016. That’s the highest total in more than 60 years since the report was first published.1 Americans give to charity for two main reasons: To support a cause or organization they care about, or to leave a legacy through their support. When giving to charitable organizations, some people elect to support through cash donations. Others, however, understand that supporting an organization may [...]

2018-11-29T18:00:21-04:00Estate|

A Brief History Of Estate Taxes

Federal estate taxes have been a source of funding for the federal government almost since the U.S. was founded. In 1797, Congress instituted a system of federal stamps that were required on all wills offered for probate when property (land, homes) was transferred from one generation to the next. The revenue from these stamps was used to build the navy for an undeclared war with France, which had begun in 1794. When the crisis ended [...]

2018-11-29T17:53:53-04:00Estate|

Will Power

According to a recent report, only 42% of American's have estate planning documents, such as a will or living trust.1 This may not be entirely surprising. No one wants to be reminded of their own mortality or spend too much time thinking about what might happen once they’re gone. But a will is an instrument of power. Creating one gives you control over the distribution of your assets. If you die without one, the state decides [...]

2018-11-29T18:02:05-04:00Estate|

Put It In A Letter

Actor Lee Marvin once said, “As soon as people see my face on a movie screen, they [know] two things: first, I’m not going to get the girl, and second, I’ll get a cheap funeral before the picture is over.”1 Most people don’t spend too much time thinking about their own funeral, and yet many of us have a vision about our memorial service or the handling of our remains. A letter of instruction can [...]

2018-11-29T17:58:53-04:00Estate|

Estate Management Checklist

Do you have a will? A will enables you to specify who you want to inherit your property and other assets. A will also enables you to name a guardian for your minor children. Do you have healthcare documents in place? Healthcare documents spell out your wishes for health care if you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself. They also authorize a person to make decisions on your behalf if that should prove [...]

2018-11-29T17:56:18-04:00Estate|

Critical Estate Documents

Financial Documents Joint Ownership Durable Power of Attorney Living Trust What does it do? Enables you to own property jointly with another person Authorizes someone to handle legal and financial decisions if you become incapacitated Holds your belongings until your death Can it authorize someone to handle your financial affairs if you are unable to communicate? Generally, no Generally, no Can it specify how you want your belongings transferred after your death? But only those [...]

2018-11-29T17:55:50-04:00Estate|