Life insurance often plays an important role in a comprehensive estate plan. People frequently purchase an employer sponsored life insurance policy when they are young and then effectively forget about the policy – and the coverage. If you purchased a life insurance policy years ago, both the type and amount of coverage may be outdated and not meet your current needs. You might have more, or less, coverage than you need. Moreover, a different type of coverage might better suit your current … [Read more...] about Do You Need to Update Your Life Insurance?
Tax planning should be a consideration in every comprehensive estate plan because taxes can have a significant impact on the value of the estate you pass down to loved ones as well as on if/how your beneficiaries are taxed on assets gifted to them. With that in mind, the Beverly estate planning attorneys at DeBruyckere Law Offices explain how a step-up in basis works for tax planning purposes. What Is “Basis?” There has been much talk of tax changes in recent years, some of which involve … [Read more...] about Understanding a Step Up in Basis for Tax Planning
Over the course of your lifetime, you will likely co-own property with someone. If you marry, you may purchase a home that you want to title in both your name and your spouse’s name. If you own a business, you may also decide to purchase real property with a business partner. You might also decide to invest in property with a sibling, adult child, or close friend. The North Andover estate planning attorneys at DeBruyckere Law Offices explain your legal options for co-owning property in … [Read more...] about Legal Options for Co-Owning Property in Massachusetts
Like many people, you may include a living trust in your estate plan. As the Settlor of the trust, you appoint the Trustee, designate the trust beneficiaries, and dictate the terms used to administer the trust. You will also choose how you wish to fund the trust. No matter how much thought you put into making all those initial decisions, circumstances may change in the future causing you to want to modify your trust. The Beverly trust attorneys at DeBruyckere Law Offices explain when and how a … [Read more...] about Can My Living Trust Be Modified?
Many individuals mistakenly believe that they need a large estate before concerning themselves with taxes at their death. While the Federal government does not impose taxes until an estate exceeds the Applicable Exclusion Amount, it’s important to the role that state estate and inheritance tax play, as well as a beneficiary’s own financial picture. Without careful consideration regarding the source of payment, disastrous consequences result. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Understanding Tax Apportionment Clauses
The process of aging is not something anyone looks forward to; however, for an adult child, it can be even harder to accept the fact that a parent is also getting older. For many adult children, there comes a time when the aging process causes a role reversal – the parent becomes the child and vice versa. This role reversal can happen fairly rapidly and noticeably if a parent is suffering from Alzheimer’s or another age-related dementia disease. It can also come on slowly because of the natural … [Read more...] about When Is Guardianship the Best Solution?
Estate Planning attorneys balance competing interests when helping clients decide who they should name as personal representative and trustee. Some of the factors that a client needs to consider are the nominee’s responsibility, financial savvy, and temperament. These factors influence the fiduciary’s ability to pay debts, expenses, claims, negotiate on behalf of the estate, and to conclude the administration of the estate or trust. While many individuals consider acting in this capacity a great … [Read more...] about The Toll of Serving as Fiduciary
Estate Planning practitioners field questions regarding disinheriting beneficiaries regularly. The second question often relates to what happens when that beneficiary or any other tries to have the estate plan or portions thereof overturned. An “in terrorem” or “no contest” clause usually acts as a deterrent to such beneficiaries by completing divesting them of their inheritance should they choose to initiate a lawsuit. Read on to learn more … [Read more...] about What an In Terrerem Clause Can Do for You
Many Estate Planning attorneys shy away from business succession planning, but if you approach it like you do any other asset, it’s not so scary! First, it’s important to understand that entities involve not just the business relationship, but family relationships as well. Often, businesses start with one or maybe two members of a senior generation who have the funds, desire, and connections to create the business. It’s not always clear, though, what will happen when that senior generation … [Read more...] about Business Succession Planning May Be Easier than You Think
Creating a comprehensive and successful estate plan requires you to consider a number of inter-related goals and objectives. Although your primary goal may be to ensure that your estate assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death, you may also want to focus on what will happen to you after your death. While most of us prefer not to spend too much time thinking about our own funeral and burial, doing so now may prevent several unwanted consequences later. The Londonderry … [Read more...] about What Is a Funeral Trust?