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February 2018 Archives

Estate planning in light of tax law changes

There are a number of federal tax law changes associated with the Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed in December 2017 that can be relevant to people in Nevada who are working on their estate plans. The law went even further than previous tax changes to remove gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes from most wealth transfers associated with death. As of January 1, 2018, the exemptions for all three of these taxes rose to $11,180,000 for a single person or $22,360,000 for a married couple. The amounts are also scheduled to rise each year in line with inflation.

The importance of powers of attorney

Nevada residents may understand how important an estate plan is. They may also be making common yet costly mistakes that could make it difficult to carry out their wishes. One of those mistakes is not reviewing plan documents on a regular basis. Generally speaking, those who have gone more than three years without a review should make time for one right away.

Using multiple trusts

Nevada residents who have already established one trust may want to create a second one. Unlike with wills, which usually include provisions that stipulate that the most recent will revokes all earlier ones, the creation of a new trust does not cancel out prior ones.

How the estate tax exemption may affect estate planning

People in Nevada might want to take another look at their estate planning after the passage of the tax bill at the end of 2017. This bill raises the estate tax exemption for individuals to more than $11 million and for couples to more than $22 million. This means that some people who have created an estate plan that uses strategies to avoid estate tax may no longer need those strategies. In particular, married couples might simply leave the entire estate to a spouse. However, in some cases, there may still be good reasons to continue using bypass trusts and other tools.

How can an executor protect a deceased loved one's assets?

Acting as an estate executor is an immense responsibility. While a loved one may ask you to take on this role in hopes that you will feel honored and trusted, you could find yourself feeling overwhelmed and stressed when the time comes to carry out the necessary duties. When you accepted the position of executor, you may not have fully realized the extent of the role and the tasks you would need to address.

Estate planning can be critical for business futures

Business owners in Nevada may be aware of the importance of estate planning for their personal belongings and properties. However, estate planning can be just as important to protect the longevity and well-being of a business. When the principal of a business passes away, it can be too easy for an active concern to slide into inactivity.

Dealing with debt as an estate executor

You may have felt honored and flattered when a loved one asked you to be the executor of his or her estate. Perhaps you had visions of being the person who delights the beneficiaries of the deceased by announcing what each would inherit. Since your loved one has passed away, you may have quickly realized that there is little of that glory in the duties of an estate executor.

Why to choose a trust

There are multiple factors Nevada residents should consider when trying to determine if they need a trust. Despite popular belief, trusts are not intended only for the wealthy, and individuals with any amount of assets may find that establishing a trust can be useful.

Many people lack basic estate planning documents

All Nevada residents, even those who fall in the middle and lower income brackets, can benefit from having an estate plan. However, a recent survey found that over half of those living in the United States don't have basic plan documents. These documents may include a living will and health care proxy. A living will stipulates what type of medical treatment should be given or generally communicate a person's wishes if he or she becomes incapacitated.

Problems that arise in estate planning with blended families

Disputes over estate plans may be more likely to happen among blended families in Nevada than in families in which there are not stepchild and stepparent relationships. These disputes may be more common in families with stepmothers, in part because women are more likely to outlive men. One survey found that only about one in five adult children reported feeling close to their stepmothers. There are several common reasons that a dispute over an estate involving a stepmother might happen.

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