Simple estate planning is pretty straightforward. There is usually a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive, and Trust if necessary. But there is a niche practice within estate planning ripe with landmines waiting to detonate if one is not careful. This is estate planning for an enrolled Native American, and this niche of estate … Continue Reading
In many states, Living Trusts are a person’s key estate planning document. Living Trusts are created to hold assets during life and then dispose of those assets at death according to the person’s directions (here, we will call the person making the Living Trust the “Grantor.” Living Trusts thus operate much like a Will, but, unlike a Will, Livi… Continue Reading
On July 7th, DWT lawyers Matt Loftin and Keith Baldwin participated in a panel discussion in Olympia, Washington, sponsored by the Association of Washington Business (“AWB”). The topic was “Succession & Estate Planning Fundamentals for Business Owners,” and the panel was organized and led by Kristofer Gray, CFP, of Integrity Fin… Continue Reading
As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail, and you cannot plan for a family business if the future generations are not included in the planning discussions.
As promised, below is a follow-up to my February 29th post. There, I discussed estate tax planning. Below, I want to introduce generation skipping tax planning, using some similar tools.
As of 2016, each person has a $5.45 million exemption from the federal generation skipping transfer (“GST”) tax (separate from the $5.45 million federal estate/gif… Continue Reading
As of 2016, each person has an aggregate $5.45 million exemption from the federal gift and estate taxes. This exemption can be used either during lifetime or at death (or both, if not all of it is used for lifetime gifts). When determining how best to make use of this exemption, make sure you consider – among other things – the federal income tax basis of any p… Continue Reading
An estate plan can be a complicated thing. Attorneys, accountants, advisors all may be involved in pulling together a customized plan that conforms to your desires, complies with state and federal law and minimizes your tax obligations. But it is still a good idea to understand the basics. For example, there are (at least) four documents you should have in p… Continue Reading
Recent changes to the federal estate tax system now permit many more estates to avoid federal estate taxes altogether and also allow more effective income tax planning for children when they inherit at the time the survivor of Mom and Dad has died. Also, while many states no longer have estate taxes, the estate tax systems in both Washington and Oregon are t… Continue Reading
Frequently you may see comments attacking the estate tax, and particularly the Washington estate tax, as applied to estates with family businesses. As pointed out by Steve Parrish in his recent article in Forbes, the preservation of your family business, and transfer of it to your beneficiaries, has more to do with your ESTATE PLANNING, and a lot less t… Continue Reading
There is a good chance that someone you know, perhaps a friend, family member, or financial advisor, has told you that you need a “Living Trust” rather than a Will. Are they right? Living Trusts have become increasingly popular estate planning devices and, in the right circumstances, they offer some significant advantages over a Will. Yet while … Continue Reading
You have spent many weekends and summer vacations at your family cabin and now hold years of wonderful memories of these times. Although the kids are gone, they are now coming back with your grandkids for great vacations. You may want to leave this asset to your family to preserve it for their future years. Should you? And if wish to do so, what steps sho… Continue Reading