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Many & LoCoco Legal Blog

Monday, April 28, 2014

Paying for Your Grandchildren’s Education

 

The bond between a grandparent and grandchild is a very special one based on respect, trust and unbounding love. When preparing one’s estate plan, it’s not at all uncommon to find grandparents who want to leave much or all of their fortune to their grandchildren. With college tuition costs on the rise, many seniors are looking to ways to help their grandchildren with these costs long before they pass away. Fortunately, there are ways to “gift” an education with minimal consequences for your estate and your loved ones.

The options for your financial support of your heirs’ education may vary depending upon the age of the grandchild and how close they are to actually entering college. If your grandchild is still quite young, one of the best methods to save for college may be to make a gift into a 529 college savings plan. This type of plan was approved by the IRS in Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. It functions much like an IRA in that the appreciation of the investments grows tax deferred within the 529 account. In fact, it is likely to be "tax free" if the money is eventually used to pay for the college expenses. Another possible bonus is that you may get a tax deduction or tax credit on your state income tax return for making such an investment. You should consult your own tax advisor and your state's rules and restrictions.

If your granddaughter or grandson is already in college, the best way to cover their expenses would be to make a payment directly to the college or university that your grandchild attends. Such a "gift" would not be subject to the annual gift tax exemption limits of $14,000 which would otherwise apply if you gave the money directly to the grandchild. Thus, as long as the gift is for education expenses such as tuition, and if the payment is made directly to the college or university, the annual gift tax limits will not apply.

As with all financial gifts, it’s important to consult with your estate planning attorney who can help you look at the big picture and identify strategies which will best serve your loved ones now and well into the future.

Many & LoCoco

Attorneys at Law

 


Monday, March 31, 2014

Avoid Family Feuds through Proper Estate Planning

Avoid Family Feuds through Proper Estate Planning

A family feud over an inheritance is not a game and there is no prize package at the end of the show. Rather, disputes over who gets your property after your death can drag on for years and deplete your entire estate. When most people are preparing their estate plans, they execute wills and living trusts that focus on minimizing taxes or avoiding probate. However, this process should also involve laying the groundwork for your estate to be settled amicably and according to your wishes. Communication with your loved ones is key to accomplishing this goal.

Feuds can erupt when parents fail to plan, or make assumptions that prove to be untrue. Such disputes may evolve out of a long-standing sibling rivalry; however, even the most agreeable family members can turn into green-eyed monsters when it comes time to divide up the family china or decide who gets the vacation home at the lake.

Avoid assumptions. Do not presume that any of your children will look out for the interests of your other children. To ensure your property is distributed to the heirs you select, and to protect the integrity of the family unit, you must establish a clear estate plan and communicate that plan – and the rationale behind certain decisions – to your loved ones.

In formulating your estate plan, you should have a conversation with your children to discuss who will be the executor of your estate, or who wants to inherit a specific personal item. Ask them who wants to be the executor, or consider the abilities of each child in selecting who will settle your estate, rather than just defaulting to the eldest child. This discussion should also include provisions for your potential incapacity, and address who has the power of attorney.

Do not assume any of your children want to inherit specific items. Many heirs fight as much over sentimental value as they do monetary items. Cash and investments are easily divided, but how do you split up Mom’s engagement ring or the table Dad built in his woodshop? By establishing a will or trust that clearly states who is to receive such special items, you avoid the risk that your estate will be depleted through costly legal proceedings as your children fight over who is entitled to such items.

Take the following steps to ensure your wishes are carried out:

  • Discuss your estate planning with your family. Ask for their input and explain anything “unusual,” such as special gifts of property or if the heirs are not inheriting an equal amount.
     
  • Name guardians for your minor children.
     
  • Write a letter, outside of your will or trust, that shares your thoughts, values, stories, love, dreams and hopes for your loved ones.
     
  • Select a special, tangible gift for each heir that is meaningful to the recipient.
     
  • Explain to your children why you have appointed a particular person to serve as your trustee, executor, agent or guardian of your children.
     
  • If you are in a second marriage, make sure your children from a prior marriage and your current spouse know that you have established an estate plan that protects their interests.
     

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

When to Involve Adult Children in the Estate Planning Proces

When to Involve Adult Children in the Estate Planning Process

Individuals who are beginning the estate planning process may assume it's best to have their adult child(ren) join them in the initial meeting with an estate planning attorney, but this may cause more harm than good.

This issue comes up often in the estate planning and elder law field, and it's a matter of client confidentiality. The attorney must determine who their client is- the individual looking to draft an estate plan or their adult children- and they owe confidentiality to that particular client.

The client is the person whose interests are most at stake. In this case, it is the parent. The attorney must be certain that they understand your wishes, goals and objectives. Having your child in the meeting could cause a problem if your child is joining in on the conversation, which may make it difficult for the attorney to determine if the wishes are those of your child, or are really your wishes.

Especially when representing elderly clients, there may be concerns that the wishes and desires of a child may be in conflict with the best interests of the parent. For example, in a Medicaid and long-term care estate planning context, the attorney may explain various options and one of those may involve transferring, or gifting, assets to children. The child's interest (purely from a financial aspect) would be to receive this gift. However, that may not be what the parent wants, or feels comfortable with. The parent may be reluctant to express those concerns to the attorney if the child is sitting right next to the parent in the meeting.

Also, the attorney will need to make a determination concerning the client's competency. Attorneys are usually able to assess a client's ability to make decisions during the initial meeting. Having a child in the room may make it more difficult for the attorney to determine competency because the child may be "guiding" the parent and finishing the parents thoughts in an attempt to help. 

The American Bar Association has published a pamphlet on these issues titled "Why Am I Left in the Waiting Room?" that may be helpful for you and your child to read prior to meeting with an attorney. 


Monday, March 10, 2014

8 Things to Consider When Selecting a Caregiver for Your Senior Parent

As a child of a senior citizen, you are faced with many choices in helping to care for your parent. You want the very best care for your mother or father, but you also have to take into consideration your personal needs, family obligations and finances.

When choosing a caregiver for a loved one, there are a number of things to take into consideration.

  1. Time. Do you require part- or full-time care for your parent? Are you looking for a caregiver to come into your home? Will your parent live with the caregiver or will you put your parent into a senior care facility? According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, 58 percent of care recipients live in their own home and 20 percent live with the caregiver. You should consider your current arrangement but also take time to identify some alternatives in the event that the requirements of care should change in the future.
  2. Family ties. If you have siblings, they probably want to be involved in the decision of your parent’s care. If you have a sibling who lives far away, sharing in the care responsibilities or decision-making process may prove to be a challenge. It’s important that you open up the lines of communication with your parents and your siblings so everyone is aware and in agreement about the best course of care.
  3. Specialized care. Some caregivers and care facilities specialize in specific conditions or treatments. For instance, there are special residences for those with Alzheimer’s and others for those suffering from various types of cancer. If your parent suffers from a disease or physical ailment, you may want to take this into consideration during the selection process
  4. Social interaction. Many seniors fear that caregivers or care facilities will be isolating, limiting their social interaction with friends and loved ones. It’s important to keep this in mind throughout the process and identify the activities that he or she may enjoy such as playing games, exercising or cooking. Make sure to inquire about the caregiver’s ability to allow social interaction. Someone who is able to accommodate your parent’s individual preferences or cultural activities will likely be a better fit for your mother or father.
  5. Credentials. Obviously, it is important to make sure that the person or team who cares for your parent has the required credentials. Run background checks and look at facility reviews to ensure you are dealing with licensed, accredited individuals. You may choose to run an independent background check or check references for added peace of mind.
  6. Scope of care. If you are looking for a live-in caregiver, that person is responsible for more than just keeping an eye on your mother or father—he or she may be responsible for preparing meals, distributing medication, transporting your parent, or managing the home. Facilities typically have multidisciplinary personnel to care for residents, but an individual will likely need to complete a variety of tasks and have a broad skill set to do it all.
  7. Money.Talk to your parent about the financial arrangements that he or she may have in place. If this isn’t an option, you will likely need to discuss the options with your siblings or your parent’s lawyer—or check your mother’s or father’s estate plan—to find out more about available assets and how to make financial choices pertaining to your parent’s care.
  8. Prepare. Upon meeting the prospective caregiver or visiting a facility, it is important to have questions prepared ahead of time so you can gather all of the information necessary to make an informed choice. Finally, be prepared to listen to your parent’s concerns or observations so you can consider their input in the decision. If he or she is able, they will likely want to make the choice themselves.

Choosing a caregiver for your parent is an important decision that weighs heavily on most adult children but with the right planning and guidance, you can make the best choice for your family. Once you find the right person, make sure to follow up as care continues and to check in with your mother or father to ensure the caregiver is the perfect fit.

 


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Events Which May Require a Change in Your Estate Plan

Events Which May Require a Change in Your Estate Plan

First, we wish everyone a Happy New Year. For our first newsletter of the year, we thought we would discuss changes to your estate plan when events happen in your life.

Creating a Will is not a one-time event. You should review your will periodically, to ensure it is up to date, and make necessary changes if your personal situation, or that of your executor or beneficiaries, has changed. There are a number of life-changing events that require your Will to be revised, including:

Change in Marital Status: If you have gotten married or divorced, it is imperative that you review and modify your Will. With a new marriage, you must determine which assets you want to pass to your new spouse or step-children, and how that may relate to the beneficiary interest of your own children. Following a divorce it is a good practice to revise your Will, to formally remove the ex-spouse as a beneficiary. While you’re at it, you should also change your beneficiary on any life insurance policies, pensions, or retirement accounts. Estate planning is complicated when there are children from multiple marriages, and an attorney can help you ensure everyone is protected, which may include establishing a trust in addition to the revised Will.

Births: Upon the birth of a new child, the parents should amend their Wills immediately, to include the names of the guardians who will care for the child if both parents die. Also, parents or grandparents may wish to modify the distribution of assets provided in their Wills, to include the new addition to the family.

Deaths or Incapacitation: If any of the named executors or beneficiaries of a Will, or the named guardians for your children, pass away or become incapacitated, your Will should be revised accordingly.

Change in Assets: Your Will may need to be changed if the value of your assets has significantly increased or decreased, or if you dispose of an asset. You may want to modify the distribution of other assets in your estate, to account for the changed value or disposition of the asset.

Change in Employment: A change in the amount and/or source of income means your Will should be examined to see if any changes must be made to that document. Retirement or changing jobs could entail moving to another state, thus subjecting your estate to the laws of that state when you die. If the change in income modifies your investing, saving or spending habits, it may be time to review your Will and make sure the distribution to your beneficiaries will be as you intended.

Again, Happy New Year.

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Many & LoCoco

Attorneys at Law


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Considering Online Estate Planning? Think Twice

The recent proliferation of online estate planning document services has attracted many do-it-yourselfers who are lured in by what appears to be a low-cost solution. However, this focus on price over value could mean your wishes will not be carried out and, unfortunately, nobody will know there is a problem until it is too late and you are no longer around to clean up the mess.

Probate, trusts and intestate succession (when someone dies without leaving a will) are governed by a network of laws, as well as federal laws pertaining to inheritance and tax issues. The State of Louisiana has its own strict requirements when it comes to forms of wills, and the failure to adhere to all of them could invalidate your estate planning documents. Many online document services offer standardized legal forms for common estate planning tools including wills, trusts or powers of attorney. However, it is impossible to draft a legal document that covers all variations from one state to another, and using a form or procedure not specifically designed to comply with the laws of Louisiana could invalidate the entire process.

Another risk involves the process by which the documents you purchased online are executed and witnessed or notarized. These requirements vary, and if Louisiana's signature and witness requirements are not followed exactly at the time the will or other documents are executed, they could be found to be invalid. Of course, this finding would only be made long after you have passed, so you cannot express your wishes or revise the documents to be in compliance.

Additionally, the online document preparation process affords you absolutely no specific advice about what is best for you and your family. An estate planning attorney can help your heirs avoid probate altogether, maximize tax savings, and arrange for seamless transfer of assets. There are other factors to consider, as well, which can only be identified and addressed by an attorney; no online resource can flag all potential concerns and provide you with appropriate recommendations.

By implementing the correct plan now, you will save your loved ones time, frustration and potentially a great deal of money. A qualified estate planning attorney can provide you with recommendations that will preserve as much of your estate as possible, so it can be distributed to your beneficiaries. And that’s something no website can deliver.

 

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Many & LoCoco

Attorneys at Law


Monday, June 3, 2013

Preparing Again for Another Hurricane Season.

 

Well June 1st has passed and as you know, it is the beginning of hurricane season. As always, this timeof year provides a moment for the residents of New Orleans and the surrounding areas to make their storm preparations. 

However, it is also a good time to get into the habit of making a review of your estate plan part of those preparations as well.

In addition to the stocking of normal supplies, you should remember to put all of your important documents together in a secure location in a waterproof container. These documents should consist of your insurance policies, wills, birth certificates, marriage certificates, banking information, powers of attorney, living wills, titles to property, etc.

It is also a good time for you to reflect on your estate planning agenda and see if you have all of your plans in place.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself every year at this time.

Do you have a will, living will, and Power of Attorney?

Have you named beneficiaries on your IRA and life insurance policy? Do you need to change any of those beneficiaries?

Have there been changes in your life situation for which your will and estate planning agenda needs to be revisited, such as the birth of a new child, a death in the family, or the start of a new job or business?

Using hurricane season as a reminder every year to think about your estate plan, will always make your plan current with your family's needs.

 

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Many & LoCoco

Attorneys at Law

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

People. The Essential Component of Your Estate Plan’s Success

 

Properly drafted estate planning documents are integral to the success of your legacy and end-of-life issues. Iron-clad estate planning documents, written by a knowledgeable attorney can make a difference bewteen success and failure of having your wishes carried out.
 
However, there's more to your estate planning than paperwork. As a matter of fact, it may actually be the most important part of your estate plan. And that important thing is "People".

For your wishes to have the best chance of being honored, it is important to carefully choose the people you name in those documents who are entrusted with carrying your wishes out.

Think about that. Your estate planning documents may be in perfect order, yet if the person you choose to carry out its directives fails to follow through with them, then all of your planning was a waste. Thus, in this article, we will look at the importance of picking those right people to name in your documents. 

Your estate plan can assign different responsibilities to different people.  The person who you most trust to raise your children, for example, may not be the person you’d designate to make health care decisions on your behalf, if you are incapacitated.  Before naming individuals to carry out your various estate and incapacity planning wishes, you should carefully consider the requirements of each role and the attributes which each individual has that will allow him or her to perform the duties effectively.

Executor.  You name the executor, (also known as a personal representative), in your will.  This person is responsible for carrying out all the terms of your will and guiding your will through probate.  The executor usually works closely with a probate or estate administration attorney. 

Health care agent.  Your health care agent is the person you name to make medical decisions for you in the event you are incapacitated and unable to do so yourself.  In addition to naming a health care agent (sometimes called a health care power of attorney), most people also create a living will (or health care directive), in which they directly state their wishes for medical care and end-of-life care in the event of incapacity.  When choosing a health care agent, select a person who you know understands your wishes regarding medical care, and who you trust to carry out those wishes, even if other family members disagree.  You should also consider individuals who have close geographic proximity to you as well as persons you believe can make difficult decisions under pressure.

Power of attorney.  A financial power of attorney (or simply power of attorney) is different from a health care power of attorney in that it gives another person the authority to act on your behalf in financial matters including banking, investments and taxes.  You can limit the areas in which the person may act, or you may grant unlimited authority.  A power of attorney may also be limited for a specific time, or it may be a durable power of attorney, in which case it will continue even after the onset of incapacity (until your death).  A power of attorney can take effect immediately or “spring” into effect in the event of incapacity.

Tutors.  If you have minor children or other dependents (disabled adult children or other disabled adults for whom you are the named guardian), then your estate plan should name a person or persons to take over the parental role in the event of your death.  This person is known as a Tutor. The Tutor may also have control over any assets that you leave directly to your minor children or other dependents.  If you create a trust for the benefit of your minor children, then the trust’s trustee(s) will have control over those assets and their distribution.  Important considerations include age of the guardian, compatibility with his or her personality and moral values as well as the extent and quality of the existing relationship with your children.

Trustee.  If you place any assets in trust as part of your estate plan, then you must designate one or more trustees, who will act as the legal owners of the trust.  If you do not wish to appoint someone you know personally, you may appoint a corporate trustee – often a bank – to play this role.   Its important you select individuals who are not only trustworthy but also organized, diligent and detail oriented.

Without a doubt, who you choose to act in all of the above capacities is a very important decision. In our years of law practice in this area, the one fundamental thing that stands out is the person you choose should be the type of person who gets things done—neither a procrastinator nor likely to be flustered and stymied if problems arise - and a person who you have absolute trust in. A knowledgable estate planning attorney can work with you in helping you choose the right individual. Although the decision who to name can really only be made by you, at least the attorney can work with you in giving to you what type of decisions that person will have to make, which hopefully will help you decide who to name in that role.

In cloing, a well drafted estate plan with the right people named who will execute that plan is the key for preparing now for events that will occur in the future.

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Many & LoCoco
 
Attorneys at Law
 
(504) 483-2332

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Common Estate Planning Mistakes Regarding Life Insurance and IRA's

Common Estate Planning Mistakes Regarding Life Insurance and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

For many people, life insurance and/or retirement savings accounts are among the largest assets they have to bequeath to their children and grandchildren in their estate plans.  Sadly, without professional and personally tailored advice about how best to include life insurance and IRAs in one’s estate plan, there may be a failure to take advantage of techniques that will maximize the amount of assets that will be available for future generations. Here are some key considerations to reflect upon and make sure that they are implemented in your own estate plan.

Failure to Name and Update Beneficiaries

A death benefit of a life insurance policy and the assets in an IRA account usually transfer automatically to the named beneficiaries upon the death of the account holder, outside of the probate process. 

"Outside of the  probate process" are the key words. In other words, the funds pass directly to the named beneficiary, outside the parameters of the Will and succession of the decedent.  Normally, all the beneficiary has to do is fill out a claim form, and they get the funds in a matter of weeks. Usually  this is done without the attorney for the succession being involved, which means less legal fees owed by the Estate. But, this only happens with a named beneficiary. Thus, it is imperative to make sure that you have beneficiaries named for these accounts and to remember that situations do change.

If the account holder’s desired beneficiaries change, due to marriage, divorce, or other major life events, it is critically important to update the named beneficiaries as quickly as possible to prevent the asset from passing to an outdated beneficiary.  Or, in the case of death of the primary beneficiary, it is equally important to name contingent beneficiaries, who stand in the place of the primary beneficiary in case he/she predeceases the decedent.  The account holder should also be aware that circumstances change for the contingent beneficiaries as well.

Let me give an example to show you how important updating beneficiaries can be. I had this issue just  come into my office the other day, and had to inform the family of this horrible result.  

Example:  

Sarah has an IRA in excess of $650,000. Sarah’s IRA documents name her husband, Harold, as the primary beneficiary of her IRA and Harold’s son, George, from Harold’s first marriage, as the contingent beneficiary.

Sarah and Harold divorce.

        After the divorce, Harold's son, George, hates Sarah for divorcing his father, and is very ugly towards her for a number of years, even refers to her publicly as the "devil".

       Harold dies.  

      Sarah, both after the divorce and after Harold's death, forgets to change the beneficiary and contingent beneficiary of her IRA account. She then dies. 

        Guess who gets her IRA. Yep, good old George, Harold's son, will receive the IRA.  

        Sarah, without question, would not have wanted this result. Had she just updated her beneficiary designation, this could have been avoided. But she did not, and this is the result. And no, George will not, out of the kindness of his heart, turn the $650,000.00 over to the family because he should do what Sarah would have wished.  It just does't happen that way.

       So that is how important naming and updating beneficiaries can be relative to your estate plan. 


Failure to Consider Naming a Trust as the Beneficiary When Dealing with Minor Children

 

When minor children are involved, most clients will create a Trust in their will so that the assets that pass down to their children will be controlled by the Trust. After all, if I have a large sum of cash, would I really want my child to control that money, or would it be better to be in aTrust, with a named Trustee who can handle the funds for my child.

The problem is, most people also have IRA's and Life Insurance Policies. And as we have seen above, these funds pass to the beneficiaries outside of their estate. Furthermore, these are usually accumulated and purchased by the client well before a client thinks of writing a Will. Thus, in the normal situation, the spouse is named as the primary beneficiary and the children are named as continent beneficiaries. 

Once the person drafts a Will and creates the Trust inside his Will, it is very important to change the contingent beneficiary of the Life Insurance Policy and IRA from the children and instead to name the Trust. That way, the funds from the Life Insurance Policy and IRA will be filtered to the Trust, again keeping it from going directly to the children. 

I have seen too many times where the deceased person's assets pass into a well created Trust in their will, to only have the children receive a vast amount of funds from a life insurance policy payable directly to them. Then, your estate is involved in Tutorship proceedings and the like to protect assets, all of which costs money, which can be avoided just by simply changing the beneficiary to the name of the Trust created in the Will.

All of the above is just a part of the intricacies of a well established estate plan. Call us today if you would like to review your estate plan with us.

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Many & LoCoco

Attorneys at Law

(504) 483-2332


 

 


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Where do we stand with Estate Taxes

 

2013 Changes to Federal Estate Tax Laws

I have been fielding a lot of questions about the current status of Federal Estate Taxes. I have posted a newsletter about this in January, but thought it might be well to reiterate those changes again.

Changes to income taxes grabbed the lion’s share of the attention as the President and Congress squabbled over how to halt the country’s journey towards the “fiscal cliff.”  However, negotiations over exemptions and tax rates for estate taxes, gift taxes and generation-skipping taxes also occurred on Capitol Hill, albeit with less fanfare.

The primary fear was that Congress would fail to act and the estate tax exemption would revert back down to $1 million.  This did not happen.  The ultimate legislation that was enacted, American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, maintains the $5 million exemption for estate taxes, gift taxes and generation-skipping taxes.  The actual amount of the exemption in 2013 is $5.25 million, due to adjustments for inflation.

The other fear was that the top estate tax rate would revert to 55 percent from the 2012 rate of 35 percent.  The top tax rate did rise, but only 5 percent from 35 percent to 40 percent.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 also makes permanent the portability provision of estate tax law.  Portability means that the unused portion of the first-to-die spouse’s estate tax exemption passes to the surviving spouse to be used in addition to the surviving spouse’s individual $5.25 million exemption.

Some Definitions and Additional Explanations


The Fedral Estate Tax is imposed when assets are transferred from a deceased individual to surviving heirs.  The Federal Estate Tax does not apply to estates valued at less than $5.25 million.  It also does not apply to after-death transfers to a surviving spouse, as well as in a few other situations.  Unlike sone states, the State of Louisiana does not impose a separate estate tax. The Louisiana Estate Tax has been repealed.

The federal gift tax applies to any transfers of property from one individual to another for no return or for a return less than the full value of the property. The federal gift tax applies whether or not the giver intends the transfer to be a gift.  In 2013, the lifetime exemption amount is $5.25 million at a rate of 40 percent.  Gifts for tuition and for qualified medical expenses are exempt from the federal gift tax as are gifts under $14,000 per recipient per year.

The federal generation-skipping tax (GST) was created to ensure that multi-generational gifts and bequests do not escape federal taxation.  There are both direct and indirect generation-skipping transfers to which the GST may apply.  An example of a direct transfer is a grandmother bequeathing money to her granddaughter.  An example of an indirect transfer is a mother bequeathing a life estate for a house to her daughter, requiring that upon her death the house is to be transferred to the granddaughter.

If your mind is now awash with confusion, don't feel bad. After all, we are dealing with laws passed by Congress. Feel free to call us and we will do our best to make all of this very simple for you to understand.

 

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Many & LoCoco

Attorneys at Law

(504) 483-2332


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Estate Taxes after averting the Fiscal Cliff

 

On January 1, 2013 the Bush era tax cuts were set to expire. One dire consequence of this event was that the Federal Estate Tax Exemption amount was scheduled to be reduced from five million dollars to one million dollars if Congress and the President did not act.

Well, thankfully, they acted.

What Congress and the President did with regard to Federal Estate Taxes has, at least for the moment, provided us with some certainity, which has been lacking in the estate planning world for sometime now.

They have permantely fixed the Federal Estate Tax Exemption amount at five million dollars. What that means in simple terms is for a married couple, their joint community estate would have to be over ten million dollars for there to be a tax. They did raise the tax rate from 35% to 40% on such estates. And here is the key. They made this change permanent, only with the exemption amount being adjusted for inflation every year.

Now, the word "permanent "in Washington is not defined the same way as you and I would define the word. Congress has a way of always changing or amending "permanent" things. But for now, it seems a fair bet, that the five million dollar exemption will remain with us for sometime, which does provide us with some certainity in dealing with estate planning.

For most of us, Federal Estate taxes will be something we do not have to worry about. But that does not mean that we should not consider our estate planning needs. We should all have a Will, and we should update said Will periodically to keep up with the changes in our life. We should have Power of Attorneys, providing someone with the authority to act on our behalf in all matters. And lastly, we should have living wills, also known as an advance medical directives. If you don't have any or all of these documents in your estate plan, you are not alone. For example, 64% of Americans do not have a basic Living Will.

With proper estate planning, you can rest assured that upon your death, your estate will pass down the way that you want it to pass down. It gives you and your loved ones certainty. And certainity makes everything a lot easier for everyone.

Please feel free to subscribe to continue receiving email notifications of our updated blog posts.

Many & LoCoco

Attorneys at Law

(504) 483-2332

 

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The Attorneys of Many & LoCoco assist clients throughout parts of Southern Louisiana, including but not limited to New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville, Convington, Gretna, Arabi, Marrero, Westwego, Harvey, Chalmette, Kenner, and the Parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, and St. Bernard, LA.



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