Happy New Year!              
Here’s a brief glance at what you’ll find in The Estate Planner – January/February 2016 issue…
Estate planning for residential real estate
For many individuals, one or more residences compose a large portion of their wealth. Thus, it’s important to know how to address residential real estate in one’s estate plan. This article reviews forms of ownership and details two strategies to transfer real estate interests in a tax-efficient manner. A sidebar explains the mortality risk inherent in a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT).
Use a Crummey trust to preserve gift tax exclusion
The annual exclusion — which allows one to make tax-free gifts of up to $14,000 per year to an unlimited number of people — remains an important estate planning tool. Affluent people whose estates exceed the $5.45 million estate tax exemption amount continue to seek strategies, such as the annual exclusion, for minimizing gift and estate taxes. And even those with more modest estates may want to take advantage of the annual exclusion to shelter their assets against potential future changes in their wealth and federal estate tax laws. For these folks, a Crummey trust is an option. This article examines the ins and outs of using a Crummey trust.
Life after divorce: A major life change necessitates an estate plan review
An estate plan isn’t meant to be a static document. To ensure one’s wishes are carried out as he or she intended after death, it’s critical to revisit the plan after a major life change. A divorce is one such change that requires one to review (and revise, if necessary) his or her plan. This article details how to take control of assets and what to consider before remarrying.
Estate Planning Red Flag: You’re recording your will signing on video
Some people make video recordings of their will signings in an effort to create evidence that they possess the requisite testamentary capacity. For some, this strategy may help stave off a will contest. But this brief article explains why, in most cases, the risk that the recording will provide ammunition to someone who wishes to challenge the will outweighs the potential benefits.