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February 2015 Archives

Gift tax considerations and estate planning trusts

In a decision released on Feb. 13, the Internal Revenue Service set standards regarding issues about the gift tax, clarifying whether contributions to a trust are completed gifts. The letter also discussed whether the fair market value of property held in trust was included in a trustor's estate. This federal letter ruling may affect some estate plans in Nevada.

Termination of a power of attorney

People who have established a power of attorney or agents who have been granted powers to act under a power of attorney may have questions regarding when the power may terminate. Several circumstances can result in the termination of a previously granted power of attorney under Nevada laws.

Updating the terms of a trust that has already become irrevocable

Las Vegas residents with an interest in estate planning issues may be interested in an article detailing one method for updating a trust after it has become irrevocable. This method may have tax consequences, good or bad, so professional guidance should be sought.

Facebook introduces new option for profiles after death

Many Nevada residents neglect to consider their digital assets like their social media profiles when they begin planning their estates. However, it may now be easier for Facebook users to dictate what will happen to their profiles in the event of their deaths with the introduction of a new feature on the social networking site.

Life insurance trusts and estate planning in Nevada

One of the most common assets that an individual will hold is a life insurance policy. However, they can be problematic when it comes to estate planning. One way to get around these issues is to create an irrevocable life insurance trust. What the trust will do is hold the insurance policy outside of the estate. At the same time, it still allows an individual control over who gets to benefit from the policy.

Family disputes are common even with estate plans

Disputes over the items a family member has in their estate when they die are common among Las Vegas families whether the deceased person had millions of dollars or died virtually penniless. Wills and trusts are effective ways to reduce the amount of discord after death but unless every heir has a clear understanding of what they are to receive as an inheritance, disagreements and even lawsuits may still happen. Robin Williams' estate was not exempt from family drama.

New proposal could impact Nevada estate taxes

President Obama issued a proposal at the 2015 State of the Union Address that would have closed loopholes available to those with assets in a trust. Currently, if assets are passed on to heirs, the heirs get what is called a step-up in basis. In other words, their cost basis is the current price of the asset instead of what it was worth when it was first purchased.