Estate Planning Experts

Defined broadly, estate planning refers to the strategies and ways in which an existing estate should be managed or disposed off. Generally, wills, power of attorney agreements, trusts, joint tenancy and such other legal documents form a major part. There are also a number of professional financial planners, who specialize in creating and managing the estate plans of their clients. Such finance advisors, also known as expert estate planners, need to be hired, in order to take wise and informed decisions regarding planning. These experts can also raise the value of estates to the largest extent possible, by lowering the required tax rates and cutting down on related estate expenses.

There are certain specific tips that are aimed at raising the value of your estate. In order to handle the legal documents effectively, the services of an attorney is also required in estate plans. The advices, as provided by the planning experts, can be listed as under:

Business management succession planning – Irrespective of whether you (along with other partners) are the owner of a business, or manage a family firm, having business succession plans is a must. These plans, as developed by the specialized financial planners, ensure that, a business does not die down with the death or withdrawal of one or more of the business partners. If a business partner passes away, his/her survivors should receive just compensation, and business should go on as before,

Cutting down on tax rates on estates – Planning requires individuals to hold only the profitable portions of their estates. A relatively low rate of interest would then be needed to pay on these portions. For this purpose, Intentionally Defective Irrevocable Trusts (IDITs) and/or Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) are used,

Selecting the right type of company – Limited liability companies (LLC) with a single owner are considered ideal. These companies are best suited to drive down estate costs as well as maintain the value of your assets,

Life insurance and death benefits – In many cases, the owner of an estate has a life insurance policy for himself/herself. Experts are of the opinion that these policies should be restructured so that the death benefits of the policy-holders, when available to the survivors, should be free of all estate taxes,

Beneficiary of estate and retirement plans – A trust that abides by all the regulations of the IRS should ideally be named as the beneficiary of the individual retirement plans, and

Tax-effective charity payments – Charitable donations should be made in such a way that benefits related to transfer charges and income taxes could be availed effectively.

Mostly, planning aims at a gradual reduction in the amounts of estate taxes that need to be paid. More benefits can also be availed by individuals if they consult estate planning experts. These financial advisors can adopt such strategies so as to effectively increase the valuation of your estate.

Looking for an Expert Estate Planner, but not sure how to choose one? If you don’t have the time to conduct thorough research about financial planning, fill out a short form and let our advisors contact you. Our experienced consultants will send you the names of advisors who are qualified and willing to help.

Considering Bankruptcy

There are many reasons that you may be considering contacting Long Beach bankruptcy lawyers. Some of these reasons may be loss of employment, unexpected medical bills, or divorce. Filing for personal bankruptcy is always a difficult decision and an individual should never file as an easy way to get out of trouble. Before filing, other repayment options should be examined, like selling assets, including an extra home, boats, jewelry, etc. Consumer credit counseling is often another option, but if you realize you can’t keep up with the payments, you should take action quickly. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse as creditors pile on late fees and take legal action to take your property and wages.

When a decision to file for bankruptcy is made, ensure that your home, furniture, and other essentials are protected. All your exempt assets can be kept. Work with Long Beach bankruptcy lawyers in order to achieve the best results. Look for Long Beach bankruptcy lawyers who handle many such cases and have a well-managed system for forms and filing. Ask for a referral from an lawyer you trust, or obtain a referral from friends or colleagues who have been through the personal bankruptcy process. Having a knowledgeable personal bankruptcy lawyer who you are comfortable with will make all the difference in the outcome of your case.

The decision to file for personal bankruptcy is a difficult one. Because of new bankruptcy laws and the differences between filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, facing the process alone can be overwhelming. Utilizing the services of Long Beach bankruptcy lawyers will ease the fairly complicated process of filing for personal bankruptcy.

Once you have filed, your creditors are no longer allowed to contact you or to collect money from you. No more harassing creditor calls, credit card payments, lawsuits and foreclosures. As stressful as it may be to file for personal bankruptcy, in the end keep in mind that you will have a clean slate and a new beginning.

For experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy bankruptcy assistance, contact the attorneys from www.legalhelpers.com. Call toll-free 800-260-1402 today for your initial free consultation or come into one of their 100 offices across the country.

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Help Finding Lost Wills

When a family member passes, one of the important matters that the immediate family must consider is what will happen to his or her property and other assets. Usually this information is outlined in the person’s will. If the family member never disclosed information about a will, however, it can be difficult to know where such a document may be kept. Knowing how people commonly keep their wills may help with searching for a family member’s will so that their final wishes can be carried out.

The Importance of a Will

In the United States, if a person dies without a will, their estate is subject to division under state intestacy laws. Intestacy laws usually mandate that a person’s assets are divided among a surviving spouse, children, siblings, and/or grandchildren. If someone has a will but it remains indefinitely lost, then the state may follow intestacy laws, allocating assets in a manner that is against the wishes of the deceased.

If intestacy laws are followed to divide an estate but a will is found later, this could lead to lots of legal, financial, and personal strife among the heirs. It is therefore important to look extensively for a will when a relative passes to help simplify the potentially complicated situation and minimize conflict.

Places to Look

The original, signed will may be hidden in a number of places both within or outside of the home. Search the following places, where people often choose to hide important documents:

Safe deposit box or home safe
Attorney’s office
County clerk’s office
Filing cabinet
Freezer
Car glove compartment
Under a mattress

If the Will Remains Lost

If for some reason the original, signed will cannot be found, it may still be possible to probate a lost will. As long as there is reason to believe that the will is still active and was not intentionally destroyed by the testator, it can still be considered valid. Any evidence of the original document being accidentally destroyed, such as in a fire or flood, may persuade a court to allow a lost will to be probated. If you believe that your relative left a will but it is lost, consider contacting an experienced probate lawyer to help with your case.

For more information on finding and probating lost wills, please visit the website of Austin probate attorneys Slater Kennon & Jameson, LLP here.

Mom Drives Son to Commit Shooting; Charged With Attempted Murder

A Florida mom has been charged as a principal to attempted murder after allegedly driving her gang member son to go shoot someone. Sondra Conegia, 54, the mother of attempted murder suspect Lewis Hawkins, 32, is alleged to have driven her son to the intended victim’s girlfriend’s apartment where……

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Bankruptcy Exemptions

Fort Wayne bankruptcy attorneys know firsthand that simply filing for personal bankruptcy does not mean that you will lose all of your personal property. Most of the time, with Fort Wayne bankruptcy attorneys working with you, people keep all of their essential personal property. It is actually quite rare for someone to lose their car or home after filing for personal bankruptcy.

You will not lose all of your personal property due to bankruptcy exemptions. These come into play when you file for chapter 7 personal bankruptcy, which Fort Wayne bankruptcy attorneys also call liquidation or straight bankruptcy. Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy sees a court appointed trustee helping you liquidate your nonexempt personal property to help you pay back your creditors.

To help keep your property from getting liquidated, you protect it with bankruptcy exemptions. There is a set of federal bankruptcy exemptions and also, generally, a set of state bankruptcy exemptions. Which bankruptcy exemptions you are allowed to use differ from state to state.

Many states allow you to use federal bankruptcy exemptions in conjunction with state bankruptcy exemptions. Other states require you to choose between using federal bankruptcy exemptions and state bankruptcy exemptions. Some states opt out of the federal bankruptcy exemption system altogether, though a few still along you to use supplemental federal bankruptcy exemptions with state bankruptcy exemptions.

The state of Indiana allows you to use federal bankruptcy exemptions along with state bankruptcy exemptions. Naturally, you will not use all of the bankruptcy exemptions that are available to you. The bankruptcy exemptions you use will depend upon the particulars of your bankruptcy case.

State of Indiana bankruptcy exemptions include homestead, tools of trade, wages, and even a wild card, which means you can exempt $ 4000 of real estate or other personal property. Fort Wayne bankruptcy attorneys will inform on how best to proceed with bankruptcy exemptions.

For experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy bankruptcy assistance, contact the attorneys from www.legalhelpers.com. Call toll-free 800-260-1402 today for your initial free consultation or come into one of their 100 offices across the country.

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Strengths of Wills

A will is important because it ensures that the probate court knows what your wishes are. But do you really need one? What happens when you don’t have a will? In a way, there is a substitute will waiting for you. Every state has “intestate” laws that instruct probate courts how to dispose of property when someone dies without a will.

Don’t agree with how the state would decide what to do with your property? Tough. Do you even know what your state’s laws say? No? Too bad. If you didn’t leave a will, your heirs have no choice. An estate without a valid will is always considered to be intestate and defaults to laws that loved ones you leave behind may not agree with.

But is it so bad not having a will? Think your spouse would get  everything? Unfortunately (for some) this is not the case. In most states, the spouse gets a percentage of the estate, with the rest passing on to the kids. The percentage varies from state to state. And what about the grandkids? They get nothing. In most states grandchildren only receive something under intestate law if their parent dies before the grandparent.

And who will fill the all-important role of executor to administer the estate? The judge will pick someone if you don’t have a will.And if you have several children who can’t agree on who shouldserve as executor, there may be a nasty fight! Sometimes, thejudge might even pick an attorney or other outsider to administer the estate for your family.

For those with only a modest estate, and little concerns of a family dispute, a will may be all you need. In fact, even the most sophisticated estate plans still use wills. They work as a safety net to make sure that your wishes are followed, rather than the plan created by the state. Every good attorney who prepares a living trust also includes a will to make sure the trust does its job.

How to make a will, Danielle & Andy Mayoras are dynamic keynote speakers, estate planning attorney, probate attorney,legacy expert attorneys, and authors of the acclaimed book Trial and Heirs Famous Fortune Fights

Family Saving Trusts and Asset Protection

The legal arrangement referred as a trust is entitled for developing various strategies for accomplishing & formulating estate planning, asset protection and privacy benefits for the settlers and beneficiaries (those who are entitled to receive trust’s income or principle either currently or at some time in future). It has been around for several hundred years. An increasingly popular tool of asset protection and estate planning is the Family Savings Trust. A family asset protection trust proves extremely beneficial in the case of high net-worth individuals, parents of complex or difficult family situations, family businesses considering succession planning and private business owners thinking about retirement and safe business exit plan. It can be very flexible in form and allows for the accomplishment of most important asset protection and estate planning goals.

Family saving trust is a successful strategy for holding ownership interests in entities such as companies / corporations, family limited partnership firms, and limited liability companies. It is an absolute legitimate approach to hold and protect family assets against lawsuits, business risks and uncertainties. Family saving trust is an absolutely bendable form of trust that can incorporate combined provisions of domestic as well as offshore arrangements within the language of the plan document. A family can hold all its assets within the trust but it must govern it with special terms that are favourable for assets. In most of the cases, the issues with outright gift to a child or successor in the family are eliminated through the use of family saving trusts.

As an additional feature the “offshore advantages” can also be included in the family savings trusts (in case the situation demands at some later point). The family asset protection trust can be structured to shift to a more favourable and relaxed jurisdiction (domestic or foreign), ie in case the situation demands. The provision can be applied to force any future plaintiff to the foreign location to the trust has already migrated to but is new or inconvenient to the plaintiff. Here, the family must ensure that they move the trust to a foreign location before the registration of any plaintiff against them else the country’s jurisdiction shall hold the matter entitled for the native legislation only.

With the creative trust strategies, the planning opportunities for achieving tax savings and asset protection advantages are certainly unlimited. Families can achieve this with the support of knowledgeable and experienced attorneys in the field.

 

Robert J. Mintz, is a practicing attorney in San Diego, California, and a nationally recognized as asset offshore asset protection,estate planning San Diego and tax planning.

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Weaknesses of Wills

Wills are far from perfect. Every will filed in this country is a public document that anyone can see. Anyone!

Do you like hearing about the private details of celebrities? Of course! Even a simple Internet search will lead you to dozens of famous wills, such as Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Paul Newman, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana and William Shakespeare, just to name a few. Your will would be just as public.

Why? Wills pass through probate court. Like most court documents, this means that they’re public records. Would you really want a stranger or, even worse, a nosy neighbor reading your will and discovering how much money you had and to whom you gave it?

Probate court also leads to legal fees and other expenses, such as inventory fees, court filing charges, bonding company costs, payments to appraisers and more. Some estimates place the annual legal fees and costs generated from U.S. probate courts at more than $ 1.5 billion.

And as you know, if you’ve been through the court system before, nothing moves quickly in the courts. Sometimes wills are tied up in probate court for years. We’ve even seen cases of estates lasting ten years or more!

There is yet another concern. When a will is admitted to probate, the spouse, children and certain other family members of the decedent are entitled to receive a written notice, even if they are not beneficiaries of the will. Sounds like an invitation to cause trouble, right? It often is, unfortunately.

Creditors of the person who passed also must be notified. Anyone who is owed money (and sometimes, even those who aren’t) will come rushing to probate court, hand extended, to collect from the assets of the decedent. Often the creditors can drain an estate before family members receive their share.

There are other limitations to wills as well. But do not fear — there is a better way. Despite their pitfalls, wills are essential, a necessary foundation on which to build a solid estate plan. It’s hard to imagine anyone who would prefer to leave the destiny of their legacy up to the intestate laws of the state. Yet for some reason, most people in the U.S. do not have wills. According to a study done by Consumer Reports, about two-thirds of all Americans do not have wills. The list of famous people who died without valid wills is long: Ulysses S. Grant, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Karl Marx, Pablo Picasso and many others.

Estates without wills are almost always more difficult, complicated and expensive than those with one. And if you pass away without a will, your wishes will not be followed. Think it’ll be okay if you tell people what you want done with your property? Unfortunately, that won’t work. The intestate laws of your state — not your unwritten wishes — will still dictate what happens, even if everyone knows what your wishes were. And if you never make your wishes known through a valid will, you will never know who may come out of the woodwork.

How to make a will, Danielle & Andy Mayoras are dynamic keynote speakers, estate planning attorney, probate attorney,legacy expert attorneys, and authors of the acclaimed book Trial and Heirs Famous Fortune Fights

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Surviving Bankruptcy

In our materialistic world, we have, unfortunately, come to hang our self worth on our financial worth. A fragile measuring stick in our unstable economy. Last year, 1.5 million bankruptcies were filed in the United States. And that number is on the rise despite reforms to the US Bankruptcy code meant to reduce the number of both bankruptcies and abuse of the system. Wading through the paperwork involved with a bankruptcy filing is difficult enough without lugging along emotional baggage that will persist beyond the discharge of debt.

Detroit bankruptcy lawyers are familiar with the emotional stress their clients suffer while enduring the admittedly complex bankruptcy scenario and can offer sage advice on surviving the process. Surrendering to the process is a good place to start. Sweet surrender is celebrated by songwriters and imposed by poets, but there is truth in the ideal. Bankruptcy can provide a new beginning. Find some new goals and challenges to help you move on with life. Here are some places to start:

Learn from your experience. Make new plans for financial security in the future. Learn to separate your self worth from your financial worth. Remember the old adage, “It’s only money.” Because, it really is. Revel in learning to live on less. Make thriftiness a game, of sorts. Challenge yourself to find new ways to be “cheap.” Allow yourself to experience the feelings of loss, anger, sorrow and frustration, and then put them behind you. Live in reality. Appreciate the new sense of control as the bankruptcy process moves forward and your new freedom is revealed. Learn some new financial skills to protect your financial well-being in the future. Detroit bankruptcy lawyers can help you find and learn these skills. Don’t beat yourself up. Let go of the resentment and shame – either that directed at yourself or others. Remember what Grandma said about holding a grudge. It only hurts you. Even if that grudge is directed at yourself.

The feeling of spiraling out of control as a stranger, or strangers, sifts through your financial life is understandable and expected. Try to overcome the impulse to panic and fret. Just sit back and let the situation roll along as it will anyway. Turn over the proverbial new leaf. And remember that Detroit bankruptcy lawyers have years of experience and can offer you advice in a compassionate atmosphere.

For experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy bankruptcy assistance, contact the attorneys from www.legalhelpers.com. Call toll-free 800-260-1402 today for your initial free consultation or come into one of their 100 offices across the country.

Estate Planning & Incentive Trusts

When you take stock of your assets and recognize the fact that your estate is going to have a considerable impact on the lives of your heirs, it is important to consider the personalities and proclivities of the each individual involved. There will probably be some family members who are ready to receive their inheritances directly with no strings attached at all, but you may have some nagging doubts about others. Younger people who are not established in their own right may lose their way if they find that they don’t really have to gain an education and embark on a career path for financial reasons. And others may have personal problems or difficulty handling money, and these types of things can give you reason to take pause.

Incentive trusts are estate planning tools that you might want to consider to address these concerns. With these vehicles you set up the trust to make distributions based on certain stipulations that are intended to guide the beneficiary in the right direction. For example, many people create trusts that provide academic incentives. You may allow for regular distributions as long as the beneficiary remains in school, and provide for a lump sum distribution upon graduation. You can take that a step further and foster an ongoing work ethic by having the trust match each dollar that is earned by the beneficiary in his or her own right.

In addition to encouraging positive choices, incentive trusts can be used to discourage destructive behavior. For example, you could tie distributions from the trust to completion of a substance abuse treatment program, and add provisions for ongoing distributions contingent upon staying free of the addiction or addictions.

These are just a few common examples of how incentive trusts are used, but you can actually create such a trust with any stipulations you choose to as long as they are not illegal. There are obvious reasons to tread lightly and proceed with caution because you don’t want your gifts to be met with resentment, but if you use them wisely incentive trusts can be a very useful inheritance planning solution.

To learn more about incentive trusts and protect you from the cost of long term care, please visit the website of the experienced estate planning attorneys San Diego CA of the Legacy, APC today.

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