Estate Planning Articles and Reports

If you come in for an Estate Planning consultation, we would appreciate it if you would at least partially complete this work sheet at home before your appointment and bring it with you. It will make the meeting go more efficiently. But even if you don’t come in, you may wish to complete this work sheet anyway so that your family will have this valuable information if something happens to you. Exact values and account numbers are not required for planning purposes.

This asset inventory is a useful tool to use alongside your estate plan. The asset inventory lists all of your personal property from physical property to real estate to investment accounts, their locations and approximate values. This inventory ensures nothing goes missing or is lost when settling your estate and will streamline the entire estate administration process when the time comes.

On June 9, 2017 the IRS issued a new rule to allow an Estate Tax Return, filed for Portability purposes, to have an extended filing deadline. The new rule requires that the return must now be filed before two years from the deceased spouse’s date of death. Read this report to learn how this rule change could potentially save your family thousands of dollars

Congratulations on recognizing the importance of estate planning. If you drafted your own documents, or used an online service such as Legal Zoom, this report advises you of some of the issues you may have failed to consider and offers some tips on changes that maybe needed. CPAs and Financial Advisers have found this “White Paper” helpful in working with their clients.

Already have a will or trust? Have you reviewed it with an attorney during the past 3-5 years? This article might point out some things that you haven’t even thought about that might necessitate updating your documents.

This report discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each, and explains why you may prefer one type of plan over another. The chart of the last page may be especially helpful.

A comprehensive Living Trust Estate Plan can help your family avoid probate, reduce estate taxes, and protect assets from nursing home costs. To learn more, read this article and consider visiting our office for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Learn how a new tax concept allows a surviving spouse to claim their deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption. A surviving spouse could effectively have up to a $22 million dollar exemption!

Learn how a unique technique can protect an inheritance for your children after you pass away.

Are you concerned that your surviving spouse may leave all of the family assets to a new spouse or children by a prior marriage? This fairly new documents (which we helped to pioneer) offers flexibility for the surviving spouse while protecting an inheritance for the children. Even first marriage couples find this document highly desirable.

Basis adjustment is a little-known tax rule that requires the basis (or cost for calculating gain) of assets received as a result of death to be adjusted to the fair market value on date of death, even if no estate taxes are due. This tax rule can wipe out the pre-death capital gain taxes after you are gone. This report discusses which assets are affected by this tax rule and the planning opportunities which may be available, even when someone is near death.

Learn how a properly-drafted Stretch IRA trust could provide a pension-like income after you are gone for your children, protect the IRA from creditors and predators (like divorcing spouses), and later provide income for your grandchildren.

Learn how an IRS sanctioned tax-deferred college investment account can provide funds for family members’ college education.

This useful handbook is for anyone owning or inheriting an IRA. It contains an enormous amount of information on how to structure and manage your IRA to provide the most benefit to you and your beneficiaries

There are many reasons for gifting, including reducing estate taxes. This article summarizes some of the legal and tax aspects of gifting you should be aware of before making large gifts.

A Heritage Trust is an effective tool to provide flexibility and asset protection for your beneficiaries. This report discusses how a Heritage Trust could offer advantages to your beneficiaries once you’re gone, and why it must be created by your prior to your death.

Many people are quite surprised to discover that the DEATH benefit of their life insurance, even a term policy provided by your employer, is included in their taxable estate for estate tax purposes. This report discusses how to avoid having these proceeds taxed at your death. Many people even prefer to, in effect, pay all their estate taxes with a life insurance policy owned by this type of trust.

When it is apparent that a loved one is near death, there are some things you should be doing, AND some things you should NOT be doing. This article explores many of the planning opportunities available and the common mistakes which many people make.

Learn and understand what is required of a Personal Representative, Executor, or Trustee after someone passes away.

Use this abbreviated guide as a starting place to understand what is required to settle a loved one’s estate. Also, we recommend the “What To Do When Someone Dies” report for additional information.

This memo is intended to provide guidance to loved ones faced with administering an estate of someone who has recently passed away. It provides helpful information for both Personal Representatives and Trustees.

Use this form to let your family know your wishes with respect to your burial and funeral arrangements. Do you wish to be buried or cremated? If you are a veteran, do you want to be buried at a military cemetery such as Ft. Logan? We suggest that you discuss these matters with your spouse and children, but it also helps to have your wishes in writing. If nothing else, you might write “Keep the costs down” if that is your desire.