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.
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
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.
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.
Reducing estate tax liability is an integral aspect of estate planning, and an especially important task for clients with large estates. But tax planning isn't exclusively for those with estates exceeding the estate tax exemption amount. Those with smaller estates shouldn't assume they will not be affected by estate taxes, since tax law tends not to stay put for very long.
In our last post we began looking at the issue of planning for your funeral arrangements and the disposition of your remains. As we mentioned, some people truly do find these to be uncomfortable topics of conversation. Others know exactly what they want their funeral to be like, what music they want, what food, what flowers, etc. Whichever category you fall into, or if you don't know where you fall, it is good to be reminded of the importance of at least knowing your options in this area.
What will happen to your remains once you die? What do you want for your funeral? These are questions that some may find uncomfortable to think about, but which should be answered when doing estate planning. In approaching these topics, you may either choose to formalize your wishes or to simply keep them informal. In either case, you should have an idea of what is involved in both of these options.
A recent article in the Star Ledger took a look at the way marriage and remarriage can quickly complicate an estate. The specific problem the article examined was how stocks and bonds purchased by a woman's first husband are to be distributed after her death and the death of her second husband, where she leaves no will. Do those assets go to the children of the second husband or remain within the woman's family? Good question.
A recent article out of the Wall Street Journal addressed the interesting topic of the place of religion in estate planning. One of the messages of the article was that you can't do adequate estate planning without at least asking the question of how/whether religious beliefs factor into your estate plan.
Estate planning often requires a lot of careful reflection, calculation, and communication. Along the way, there is room for various mistakes. Here we will look at a handful of examples.