Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2015

Jul 31, 2015

Related Practice: Estate Planning & Administration

Here's a brief glance at what you'll find in the August/September issue...

Premarital planning: Protecting your assets without a prenup

Protecting family assets in the event of a divorce is particularly significant for family business owners, who typically want to avoid sharing ownership with their ex-spouses or their children's ex-spouses. A prenuptial agreement can be an effective tool for overriding marital property rights and keeping assets in the family. This article explores the benefits and drawbacks of a prenuptial agreement, and details an alternative to a prenup — a domestic asset protection trust. Read more...

The ABLE account: A good alternative to a special needs trust?

Late last year, Congress passed, and the President signed, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The act authorizes a new, tax-advantaged savings account, modeled after the Section 529 college savings account, for people who are blind or have severe disabilities. This article explains the ins and outs of an ABLE account and why a special needs trust may be a better option. Read more...

Make net gifts to reduce your gift tax rate

Lifetime giving is a smart strategy to reduce a taxable estate, but the gift tax rate of 40% is steep. If one has used up his or her $5.43 million gift and estate tax exemption and would like to potentially reduce his or her effective gift tax rate to 28.6%, making net gifts should be considered. This article details how to use this gifting technique. Read more...

Estate Planning Pitfall: Your powers of attorney are more than a few years old

Health care and financial powers of attorney are critical components of an effective estate plan. As this article explains, after executing powers of attorney, it's important to periodically review them and execute new ones. Read more...

Washington's New 2015 Directed Trust Act

As of July 24, 2015, Washington law permits individuals to create what are commonly called "directed trusts." These irrevocable trusts allow the Trustor to delegate some functions of the trust to third parties; for example, the Trustee might be directed to invest trust assets by a specific investment advisor. There are many ways to customize a directed trust to ensure your wishes are met. Read more...

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This post provides general information and is not legal or other professional advice. To discuss issues specific to your circumstances, contact one of our Estate Planning attorneys.