Below is a brief glance at what you’ll find in the March/April 2015 issue…our link to the PDF of The Estate Planner March / April 2015.
Second trip down the aisle? Update your estate plan to reflect your second marriage
For those in a second marriage, or planning another trip down the aisle, estate planning can be complicated. Besides both the current and the former spouse to consider, there may be children from both marriages. This article explains that one should start the estate planning process by taking an inventory of assets. Then, trusts can provide flexibility in determining how and when wealth will be shared with beneficiaries — but taxes also should be considered. Meanwhile, a sidebar points out that an irrevocable life insurance trust provides instant wealth for children while allowing other assets to be left to one’s spouse.
21st century estate planning accounts for digital assets
Traditionally, when a loved one dies, family members go through his or her home to look for personal and business documents. Today, however, many of these items may not exist in “hard copy” form. Unless an estate plan addresses these digital assets, family members may not know where to find them or how to gain access. And delays can cause irreparable damage, particularly when a business is involved. This article offers suggestions for making sure that family members will not only know that particular digital assets exist, but will be able to access them quickly.
Planning for aging parents: 5 tips for the sandwich generation
With so many people finding themselves caring for both their children and their parents at the same time, estate planning has expanded in many cases to include not only children, but one’s aging parents as well. This article provides five tips to consider, including making gifts, setting up trusts, and buying the parents’ home.
Estate Planning Red Flag: You’re not making direct payments of tuition and medical expenses
Now that the gift and estate tax exemption has risen to $5.43 million in 2015, taxes might not seem so much of a concern. But what if one’s wealth grows beyond the exemption amount in the coming years and decades? What if lawmakers decide to reduce the amount? This article reveals how the exemption for direct payments of tuition and medical expenses can provide a valuable opportunity to reduce potential gift and estate tax exposure down the road.