estate planning

Helping Clients with Anticipated Inheritances

Posted by Robert L. Arone When we think of estate planning, we often think about preparing our clients’ accounts and property to go to their loved ones in a tax-efficient way, protected from probate, disgruntled heirs, beneficiaries’ creditors, divorcing spouses, bankruptcy, and the poor spending habits of beneficiaries. We rarely consider helping our clients prepare for receiving an inheritance. Believe it or not, there are several essential things a client must consider if they anticipate receiving an inheritance. Helping them understand these issues brings value to your professional relationship, ensuring that they return for your advice and counsel for years to come. Understanding the Nature of the Property to Be Inherited The first way to help a client properly prepare to receive an inheritance is to discover what exactly they will be inheriting. Is it real estate, a 401(k), or an individual retirement account (IRA)? Perhaps it is publicly traded

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Helping Clients Responsibly Leave Wealth to Grandchildren

Posted by Robert L. Arone Estate planning attorneys frequently hear from their clients, “I’d like to leave something to my grandchildren. What’s the best way to do that?” Naturally, grandparents love their grandchildren and want them to succeed in life. And when grandparents are in the twilight of their lives, their hearts often turn to the younger generation with a desire to give them whatever advantages they can, especially if they were unable to give their own children those same advantages when their children were younger. For most grandparents, the best way to provide for their grandchildren is to leave their accounts and property to the grandchildren’s parents to ensure the financial stability of that family unit, thereby indirectly benefiting the grandchildren. In fact, default inheritance laws in nearly every state reflect this common desire to provide first for children and then for the grandchildren in the event that an

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Helping Clients Create an Up-to-Date Inventory

Posted by Robert L. Arone If your client has already done estate planning by creating a will or trust, then the client has taken a very important step toward ensuring that if the client becomes incapacitated or dies, the client’s loved ones will know how to help manage the client’s financial and legal affairs. However, simply having a will or a trust and related estate planning documents is often not enough. An inventory of all of the client’s accounts and property is crucial for helping the client’s loved ones manage the client’s affairs effectively. Most estate planning attorneys have received calls from distressed children who know that a deceased parent had a will or a trust, but have no idea what accounts, insurance policies, or items of real and personal property the parent owned. If an inventory was never prepared and shared with the parent’s attorney, the child likely had

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Is Your Client’s Estate Plan Incapacity Proof?

Posted by Robert L. Arone For most people, it is perfectly natural to think about estate planning only in terms of planning for death. While it is certainly important for clients to make a plan for their eventual death, if that is all they plan for, their planning will be woefully inadequate. As medical knowledge and technology have improved over the decades, so too has modern medicine’s ability to keep people alive for much longer. It is no accident that in many areas of the country, long-term care facilities such as assisted living centers and nursing homes are being built at record pace.[1] At first blush, staying alive longer would seem to be a good thing. And for many people, it is. However, simply living longer does not necessarily result in ideal circumstances. Longevity coupled with incapacity can be extremely challenging if a client has failed to make arrangements for

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Election Update: Planning under the Biden Administration

Posted by Robert L. Arone After several days of counting ballots, Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the 2020 Presidential election by many major news outlets. Although we await the official certification of the election by each state, an official concession by President Trump, and the outcome of several pending lawsuits–which could take us into December or even January–the 2020 election and its aftermath promise significant changes in how our clients will be taxed. While it is unlikely that every proposal discussed during President-Elect Biden’s campaign will become the law of the land, we can still glean essential details from all the campaign rhetoric to help us prepare to weather these possible changes. Proposed Policy Adjustments under a Biden Presidency Here is what we know so far about some of President-Elect Biden’s key proposals that are most relevant to our clients’ estate planning: Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer

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