Insight on Estate Planning - Year End 2014

Dec 02, 2014

Related Practice: Estate Planning & Administration

Here's a brief glance at what you'll find in the year-end issue…

Saving for college is also good for your estate plan

A 529 plan is one of the most powerful and flexible tools available for college savings, but it also provides some unique estate planning benefits. This article explains how 529 plans work for savings purposes, but also notes that all contributions, together with all future earnings, are removed from one's taxable estate even though the donor retains control over the funds. But there are some disadvantages, so a sidebar discusses another savings option: the Coverdell ESA. Read more...

Will your estate plan benefit from a trust protector?

Even though one may appoint a trustee to oversee distribution of a trust's assets, it's possible to go a step further by appointing a trust protector. This person will serve as an overseer of the trustee's actions. Taking this step can also provide peace of mind because the trust protector has the power to alter the trust in light of changing family situations or tax laws. This article discusses the powers that can be assigned to a trust protector and how to choose the best candidate. Read more...

Charitable deductions: Substantiate them or lose them

Qualifying for a charitable deduction is, in some respects, a matter of form over substance. The IRS could disallow a deduction, even if it's otherwise legitimate, if the donor fails to follow the substantiation requirements to the letter. This article offers a quick summary of the rules for both cash and noncash gifts, and describes a real-world example of what can happen when proper substantiation is lacking. Read more...

Estate Planning Pitfall: You haven't planned for incapacity

Most estate plans focus on what happens after death — but a plan is incomplete if arrangements haven't been made in the event of mental incapacity. If the plan doesn't specify how these decisions will be made, and by whom, a court-appointed guardian will have to intervene. But this article describes several tools that are available to ensure that a person designated by the plan owner will handle affairs if the owner becomes incapacitated.. Read more...

Joint tenancy bank accounts as part of estate planning

What happens to the assets in a joint bank account when one of the account holders dies? This article discusses what can happen to assets in the two primary types of joint tenancy accounts and how to ensure your accounts are set up the way you want. Read more...

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