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June 2012 Archives

Complex gifts through trusts need to be done right

Right now, Americans have an opportunity to pass on a gift of inheritance to their heirs, tax free up to the large sum of $5.12 million, and a lower tax rate than normal on any amount after that. However, according to The New York Times the time to take advantage of this large tax break is running out. Some people might fear that giving such a large gift to their children can have some unintended consequences.

In estate planning, an estate is everything you own, not a mansion

Many people don't think they need an estate plan. They have a average sized home, an average retirement account, not much life insurance and little in savings, which they might think doesn't constitute an estate. The truth is, an estate is everything a person owns. Just because the media and reality TV shows talk about sprawling estates and enormous mansions doesn't mean the average Jane or Joe doesn't have an estate.

Estate planning lessons from a princess

Yesterday marked Prince William's 30th birthday. It also marked the day that his mother intended for him to inherit her estate. Before the late Princess Diana died tragically in a car accident in 1997, she made sure all her estate planning documents were in place so her sons would inherit the majority of her estate should she die early.

Wills and trusts can help designate where your money goes

Many people hope to leave something to their children after they die. However, a group of the wealthiest people in the world has chosen not to leave much to their children. The millionaires and billionaires aren't necessarily doing this to neglect their children of a vast fortune, but to teach them lessons on making their own way in life. Whatever a person decides to do with their money after they pass away is their decision, as long as they plan accordingly.

Hand-written letters enter debate over artist's will

Many times when people have sudden changes to their life, such as a pending divorce, or a new relationship, they forget to update important estate planning documents. That might be exactly what happened in the estate of late artist Thomas Kinkade. Kinkade's girlfriend is now asking for the right to manage his estate and keep his mansion, even though it was allegedly bequeathed to her through a hand written note instead of in his will. A court will now try to determine the legality and authenticity of those the hand written notes.

Proper estate planning key with dementia

When dementia strikes, a person can lose track of many things in their life. Not only might a person start forgetting everyday things, but they might also start neglecting their finances or giving money to organizations that they might never have wanted to donate to. All of these things can make it difficult for their eventual caretakers to sort out.

New Jersey estate planning can help single people too

Many people might think they don't need to plan for the day they might die or become incapacitated. It is something that people across New Jersey avoid because they either don't want to think about it, or they don't think they need estate planning. Single people are especially prone to use the excuse that they simply don't need it. That's because they might just think that it doesn't matter who gets what, because they don't have a spouse or children.

Woman leaves mansion to dogs through estate planning

Estate planning is an essential part of making sure your wishes are honored after you become unable to care for yourself or die. While it isn't always pleasant to discuss, it can ensure that your wishes are followed no matter what another person thinks should be done with your property or money. One woman in another state wanted her house left to her three dogs, so that's exactly what she did through estate planning. Now, the three dogs and 2 other people have sold the mansion for $8.4 million dollars.

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