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November 2011 Archives

Asset Protection Trusts: effective or not? P.2

In our previous post, we started looking at an article discussing the effectiveness of self-settled asset protection trusts. Generally speaking, asset protection trusts are trusts set up for the purpose of avoiding or mitigating the consequences of divorce, taxation and bankruptcy on the trust's beneficiary. A self-settled asset protection trust is one in which the beneficiary is the one who set up the trust.

Asset Protection Trusts: effective or not? P.1

A recent Forbes article took a look at the general effectiveness of asset protection trusts in light of a recent Alaska case in which a man who set up and funded an asset protection trust was unable to protect his assets from future creditors in bankruptcy.

Rumors of immediate changes to estate/gift tax unlikely

As we have frequently mentioned on this blog, the current state of the federal estate tax and gift tax exemption is precarious. Through 2012, the lifetime combined exemption amount (for gift tax and estate tax) is set at $5 million, which is affording many people the opportunity to pass on more of their wealth. If no action is taken by Congress, that amount will revert back to $1 million in 2013. It is possible that Congress will change the numbers to something completely different though.

Study argues rich are moving from NJ because of burdensome taxes

According to a new study conducted by the chief economist of New Jersey's Department of Treasury, wealthy residents are being driven out of the state because of high taxes. This, in turn, is slowing the rate of recovery in the state. According to Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States Index-which looks at data on employment, income, real estate, taxes and local stocks-New Jersey's economy was the third worst perform economy in the United States through June 30.

Medicaid planning depends on federal, state and local law

A recent article in Forbes pointed out that changes to the state's Medicaid program may have a significant effect on existing estate plans and estate planning going forward. The new Medicaid regulation reportedly went into effect in early September, and will allow the state of New York to get back any costs spent on individual Medicaid services.

Conditions are favorable for estate planning

At present, several factors are combining to make for wonderful conditions for wealth preservation in estate planning. Those factors are favorable tax laws, a struggling economy, and low interest rates. Taking advantage of the current estate planning environment

Important documents of preventing family conflict, P.2

In our last post, we began discussing the documents you should have in place if you wish to avoid the possibility of family conflict down the road in regard to your estate plan. Without these basic documents in place, family may be left guessing-and disagreeing-about a course of action to take in regard to you and your estate.

Important documents of preventing family conflict, P.1

Everybody knows estate planning can be a stressful thing for individuals. What is even more stressful, though, is the struggles and disagreements families go through because of inadequate estate planning. One of the things a good estate planning attorney should do is assist you in setting up your estate plan so as to prevent future family conflicts.