Insight on Estate Planning - June/July 2022

Jun 2, 2022   Print PDF

Related Practice: Estate Planning & Administration

Here’s a brief glance at what you’ll find in the June/July issue

Will your will be contested?

A person’s will may be challenged based on its validity, its terms or even his or her mental capacity at the time it was drafted. Although state law generally controls these matters, there are guidelines to follow. This article examines who can contest a will and when and how one may be able to discourage discord. A brief sidebar explains certain protections available outside of the probate process.

Why contingent beneficiaries matter

A will provides for the disposition of one’s worldly possessions, including a house, investments and other property. These go to the beneficiaries named in the will. In addition, this foundation is usually supported by documents for trusts, retirement plan accounts and life insurance policies. They also have designated beneficiaries. But the process may be a little more complicated than it first seems. Of course, one must list the primary beneficiaries in these documents, but it’s also imperative to include “contingent” beneficiaries for peace of mind. This article explains why naming contingent beneficiaries is critical.

Net gifts: A gift-giving technique that makes sense in certain situations

Lifetime giving is a smart strategy to reduce a person’s taxable estate. However, if one’s $12.06 million federal gift and estate tax exemption has been exhausted, his or her gifts may be fully taxable at the 40% rate. In this case, consider making “net gifts.” This article explains that this technique requires the gift’s recipient to agree to pay the gift tax as a condition of receiving the gift, thus reducing the gift’s value for gift tax purposes.

Estate Planning Pitfall: You haven’t coordinated your estate plan with your spouse

Estate planning can be complicated enough when a person doesn’t have a spouse. But things can get even trickier for married couples. Even if the couple have generally agreed on most major issues in the past — such as child rearing, where to live and other lifestyle choices — they may not be on the same page when it comes to making critical estate planning decisions. This brief article details how to best coordinate one’s estate plan with a spouse.

Careful Estate Planning for Parents of Minor Children

Many parents of young children forego estate planning, whether it’s because they are in good health and don’t see the need, feel their wealth doesn’t justify investing in a comprehensive estate plan or are simply overwhelmed with the day to day of parenting. This article will discuss why estate planning is vitally important for parents of minor children.

To view a PDF of the newsletter with full articles please click here.