A confluence of factors are presenting many people with some interesting and complex problems related to Medicaid planning and estate planning. An aging population, high unemployment, and the rising cost of long-term care have combined to present many with the question of whether it is wise to pay relatives to provide caregiving services to family members.
The beginning of a new year is a natural time to look out and think about what the future has in store for you and your family. For those with young or newborn children, the immediate future may include lack of sleep, warming bottles, plenty of diaper changes, and little time for much else; but the long-term future needs a little attending to as well.
After months of speculation on what would happen regarding the estate tax, Congress finally passed an extension of the 2001 tax cuts and provided some guidance as to the future of the estate tax. As we have discussed before, the estate tax had disappeared completely in 2010, but was scheduled to come back in 2011with higher tax rates and lower exemption levels than had been in effect in 2009.
In our last few posts, we discussed some methods and tools that can be used by individuals that want to pass their wealth on to others while minimizing tax consequences and protecting the value of their assets. In this post, we will conclude that discussion by talking about a few other estate planning and asset protection strategies.
In our last post, we discussed some of the basics about making gifts as part of your estate plan. In this post, we will discuss a couple of other estate planning tools that can also be used to help you distribute and protect your assets while minimizing the tax consequences.
A large part of effective estate planning is creating a strategy that will protect your assets while allowing you to pass them on to your heirs. One of the most effective ways to accomplish these goals is to give those assets away. Of course, accomplishing your goals while giving assets away is not always as simple as mailing a check or signing over a title, it requires strategic planning.
Dealing with estate planning issues is difficult for many people. Whether they feel intimidated by the perceived complexity of the matter, or they just don't want to discuss issues of death, many people will put estate planning off as long as possible. Fortunately, if you are reading this, you probably understand how important it is to make estate plans. However, what you might not realize is how important it is to keep those estate plans updated and properly implemented.
As we approach the end of the year, it is time to make sure all of your retirement and estate planning tools are up to date and working for you. One item that may have slipped many peoples' minds is taking any required IRA withdrawal. It is important to make sure you take a withdrawal because the failure to do some could result in some harsh tax-related consequences - namely a 50% tax on the amount you were supposed to withdraw from the account.
In our last post, we discussed the estate tax and how it is scheduled to come back into existence in 2011, albeit with rates far higher than when we last saw it. In this post, we wanted to discuss a few of the tools that an individual might use to reduce the impact the estate tax may have on his or her surviving family members.
Over the last three posts, we've discussed the benefits of both living trusts and wills when it comes to estate planning. When it comes to picking one or the other, you really need to think about your needs. What are your assets?