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September 2012 Archives

Estate gift tax-free deadline is approaching

At the end of every month, people look at the calendar and ask themselves where the time has gone. We are at that point again, and soon we will be at the end of another year. This year, December 31 holds a special meaning for taxes and estate planning. Currently, through the Tax Relief Act of 2010, people who wish to gift money to their relatives will be allowed to give them up to $5 million instead of the usual $1 million without paying gift taxes.

A will can benefit even those with clear beneficiaries

Many people who have children don't have a will. Most people might think that they don't need a will if all of their assets will go to their spouse and children. However, some states have different rules. When a person has a will, they can choose who gets what assets. If they fail to create an estate plan, including a will, they might find that their assets will be divided according to state laws.

Wills and trusts can help eliminate disputes

When a person passes away, funeral arrangements tend to happen within a week. If a family contends a part of a person's will, a funeral might be delayed. This is an unfortunate situation which can be avoided. Through wills and trusts, people can plan a variety of estate matters, including funeral arrangements. This can help limit the amount of debate over what a family member's last wishes might be.

Estate planning for baby boomers

More and more baby boomers are retiring. While it might seem like just yesterday that you were settling down into a career and your children were born. The reality is, your children are well into adulthood, and you may even have grandchildren on the way. Your success in your career has afforded you many opportunities, you have accumulated assets and wealth and you are preparing for retirement.

Is inheritance a thing of the past?

New surveys are shedding light on the issue of inheritance for the next generation. A report suggests that nearly 40 percent of people in the age group of 13-22, also known as Generation Z, are expecting an inheritance and therefore don't see saving for retirement as a primary financial goal. This is large problem considering what their parents are saying about their own financial goals. Only 2 percent of adults with more than $100,000 in investments say that giving their children an inheritance is a financial goal.

Trusting the trustee

Sometime people leave assets to their loved ones in the form of a trust. Trusts can be used for various different reasons and can generally allow for more specific handling of a person's assets. One part of a trusts calls for a trustee. This is a person that will manage the trust and make sure a person's last wishes are carried out. Typically this is a close friend or family member that a person trusts to follow their wishes.

"Gone With the Wind" trademark and literary rights gifted to Catholic church

The Catholic Church has been given a large gift in another state. The nephew of "Gone With the Wind" author Margaret Mitch has gifted 50 percent of the rights to the trademark and literary rights to the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Although this gift doesn't include rights to the film, it could still be work hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

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