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July 2012 Archives

Estate planning increasingly addressing digital assets

The practice of estate planning is continually changing as people's needs continue to change. One area where this is evident is in the growing importance of accounting for digital assets in one's estate planning documents. Digital or virtual assets are those which are stored on computers and the Internet.

Jackson matriarch temporarily loses custody of Michael's children amidst will dispute

On Wednesday, Michael Jackson's three children were assigned a new guardian as part of a growing power struggle over the late entertainer's multimillion-dollar estate. The new guardian, Tito Jackson, was appointed at his request after a week of conflicting reports regarding the health and whereabouts of 82-year-old Katherine Jackson, the appointed guardian of Michael's three children, named in his will. Katherine had been missing when the children returned from a camp, and the judge determined that a temporary guardian was necessary.

Irrevocable life insurance trusts: a useful estate planning tool

Trusts can be greatly useful tools when it comes to estate planning. Part of making use of trusts for estate planning is determining what financial vehicles will be used to fund them. One option is to make use of life insurance for this purpose. One particular option is to set up an irrevocable life insurance trust. These are trusts in which the trust itself is the owner and beneficiary of life insurance policies.

Estate planning should include consideration of funding for long-term care, P.2

In out last post, we began looking at the importance of funding for long-term care. For some people, this will entail purchasing long-term care insurance and setting aside funds years in advance. For many others, there will be no planning but only responding to the need as it arises. For anybody concerned about how they will pay for their long-term care, though, Medicaid planning is useful.

Estate planning should include consideration of funding for long-term care, P.1

A recent article in Forbes magazine took a look at various financial risks, 13 to be precise, that can be avoided. The various risks touched on occur because no action was taken, insufficient action was taken, or too much action was taken. Interestingly, and appropriately, some of these risks deal with things estate planning is intended to address.

Estate planning ensures assets go where you want them to go at your death

In a recent article written for Forbes, Deborah Jacobs spoke about the topic of who needs estate planning. As she noted, there are a number of people out there who tend to write off the idea of estate planning, thinking that it doesn't apply to them, that it isn't something they need. The truth is that every adult can benefit from some degree of estate planning.

2013 estate tax changes could impact succession planning for family businesses

As our regular readers know, big changes are presumably in store for estate tax law for 2013. While each taxpayer currently has a $5.12 million lifetime federal estate/gift tax exemption, that number could drastically decrease if Congress doesn't take action by the end of the year. Those who die between now and the end of the year with an estate worth less than $5.12 million will owe no federal estate taxes. Estates exceeding this amount will be taxed at a top rate of 35 percent. At this point, the default for next year will be a lifetime estate/gift tax exemption of $1 million and a top tax rate of 55 percent.