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Posts Tagged ‘trust’

Using a No-Contest Clause to Prevent Heirs from Challenging a Will or Trust

If you are worried that disappointed heirs could contest your will or trust after you die, one option is to include a "no-contest clause" in your estate planning documents. A no-contest clause provides that if an heir challenges the will or trust and loses, then he or she will get nothing. A no-contest clause may be a good idea if you have a beneficiary who may be upset by the property distributed to him or her. However, no-contest clauses (also called in terrorem clauses) only work if you are willing to leave something of value to the potentially disgruntled heir….

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Arbitration in Trusts

Because arbitration is often faster, cheaper, private and more convenient than litigating disputes in court, mandatory arbitration clauses have long been a mainstay in a variety of commercial contracts.  Additionally, the parties’ ability to choose an arbitrator with expertise in the particular area of law at issue often adds significant benefit. In the context of commercial contracts, however, there have been concerns over potential bias in favor of “repeat customers”—that arbitrators might find for the company perceived as likely to arbitrate more cases down the road or regularly come out against individual consumers who are unlikely to litigate additional arbitration…

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You Need To Review Your Estate Planning documents Regularly.

There is a tendency to view elder law estate planning as a static process i.e. once done don’t need to do anything more. However,estate planning is rarely a one-time event. Besides accounting for legal changes, the plan must be modified to account for life changes — birth, death, divorce, finances and health. Even the best of plans may be obsolete by the time they are needed, sometimes many years later. At a minimum, an estate plan should be reviewed every three years to see if any life or law changes affect it. Over time, clients may want to change their…

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Finding love later in life may be unexpected and exciting, but should it lead to marriage?

The considerations are much different for an older couple with adult children and retirement plans than for a young couple just starting out. Before deciding whether to get married or just live together, you need to look at your estate plan, your Social Security benefits, and your potential long-term care needs, among other things. Whatever you decide to do, you may want to consult a lawyer to make sure your wishes will be carried out. Here are some things to think about: Estate Planning. Getting married can have a big effect on your estate plan. Even if you don't include…

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When Should I Review My Elder-Law Estate Plan?

A mistake in elder-law estate planning is failure to regularly review the plan. At a minimum, each client's estate plan should be reviewed every three years to determine whether changes in the client's personal life, such as health, assets or family history (births, deaths, marriages, divorces, etc.) might require changes to the plan. Similarly, changes in the law may lead to changes in the plan. It is unrealistic to expect a plan established today to be effective 10, 20, 30 or more years in the future. Over time, clients may want to change their backup trustees or plan of distribution….

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“Taxes are a heavy component of estate planning, but it is important to be alert for other issues.”

Proper estate planning for your assets depends, in large part, on what those assets are. Common assets in an estate include the obvious, such as real estate, collections, cash, brokerage accounts, retirement funds and stock portfolios. However, there can be less obvious assets requiring special attention. A recent article through Forbes points this out with a fairly common example that is all too easily forgotten: the special estate planning problem of guns. Guns are as natural to own for some as any other asset is. Indeed, to some, their firearms collection is really more akin to an art collection. That…

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The Five Biggest Ways To Bungle a Trust

 "This is a role that potentially has unlimited liability.” — Adam von Poblitz, head of Estate Planning at Citi Private Bank     Have you been named the trustee for a close friend or family member? Did you feel honored when they asked? Well, it’s okay to feel honored, as the request does show a high level of trust and respect from your friend or family member. But think twice before accepting this “honor,” especially if there are no professionals on board as co-trustees. Trustees take on a lot of legal risk, especially for any mistakes they make, and there…

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Trust Options for Leaving Assets to Charity

The idea of giving to charity would seem to be a simple, but the simple methods aren’t always the best ones. Sometimes a bit of financial finesse can go a long way, helping both your charity of choice and your own finances. I refer to that as “doing well by doing good.” If you want to be a tax-savvy philanthropist, consider using a time-honored strategy known as a “charitable remainder trust” (CRT). The Times-Herald Record recently offered a crash course in their article, “Protecting Your Future: Trust option for leaving assets to charity.” A CRT allows you to give assets…

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A type of trust used by the wealthy to shelter assets from estate taxes for hundreds of years, or even forever, is under fire.

As budget debates continue to escalate, yet another estate planning tool has come under fire, reports The Wall Street Journal. If you’re interested in a “Dynasty Trust” you may want to act sooner rather than later. The main objective of a Dynasty Trust is to continue for as long as possible, benefiting several succeeding generations. Usually, beneficiaries are allowed access to income only, so the trust’s principal assets remain intact to provide an income stream for future generations. Dynasty trusts have become increasingly popular since the 1986 tax overhaul and the current version of the “generation-skipping tax.” (GST). The GST…

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I’ve heard about Special Needs Trusts but what is a Pooled Trust?

A pooled trust is created by the person with special needs, a parent, grandparent, guardian, or a court. However, the trust is administered by a non-profit organization. The trust is funded by the disabled beneficiary’s assets. Each beneficiary has a separate account established, but for the purposes of investment and management of funds, the trust “pools” all these various accounts into one.  However, upon the death of the disabled beneficiary, if there are funds remaining in the account, the trust pays to the State of Maryland, an amount up to the total amount of Medical Assistance provided to the beneficiary.  The…

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