All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘estate’

Your Family Deserves a Trust

As the saying goes, one should hope for the best but plan for the worst. Some of our clients come to us asking for a “simple will”, because they want to leave “everything to their spouse and then to their children equally” and they hope for the best. Our job is to plan for other possibilities and that means recognizing that death may not be the worst case scenario.

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I Just Need a Simple Will…

Friends, this just is not ever the case. We love simple and elegant solutions to complex problems as much as anyone, but the cold, hard truth is that no mere Last Will & Testament can provide for all the legal and financial challenges our loved ones will face upon our death or incapacity.

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Legal Checklist for Parents

It’s that time of year again. Vacation time is over and the kids are going back to school. You’ve done all sorts of things to prepare them for their first day and fought the traffic to get them there on time. They walk away with lunchbox in hand, barely realizing they are entirely dependent on you for everything they have.

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Applying for the Florida Homestead Exemption Can Trigger U.S. Tax Residency

Florida Homeowners have until March 1 to apply for the Homestead Exemption on Form DR-501 to exempt about $75,000 of the value of their home from property taxes. However, recent immigrants or “temporary” residents with assets outside the U.S. should carefully weigh their options before applying.

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U.S. Tax & Legal Consequences for Foreign Investors and Potential Residents

Foreign investors and potential residents must understand that U.S. tax residency can occur, whether or not they have permanent residence for immigration purposes.

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Green Card Holders May Not Yet Be Domiciled in the U.S. for Estate & Gift Tax Purposes

If you are considering moving to the United States, you need to consider your tax status for both U.S. income tax purposes and U.S. estate and gift tax purposes.[1] Even if you have already obtained lawful permanent residence status (your “Green Card”), you may not yet be subject to U.S. estate and gift tax as a U.S. “domiciliary”.

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Life Insurance Proceeds can be Taxed up to 40% if not Structured Properly

Life Insurance is an excellent, asset-protected tool for estate planning. For example, if your estate will contain substantial “hard” assets, such as business interests or real estate, the cash proceeds of a life insurance policy can allow your heirs to pay your estate taxes without having to liquidate any assets. And your beneficiaries can receive the proceeds of your life insurance policy tax free.

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Legal Maneuvers to Consider in a Down Economy

Every rain cloud has a silver lining and even amid the gloom of “The Great Recession” opportunities abound. Put simply depressed valuations present opportunities for those with cash or access to it. Moreover, from an estate tax perspective, historically low interest rates and a looming increase in tax rates makes 2010 the best year in a long time to implement […]

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Life Insurance Beneficiaries

The person(s) you designated as beneficiaries of your life insurance policies get paid when you die, typically your spouse and children. However, by making the policy payable directly to a carefully drafted trust you can ensure the money is protected from their creditors, poor spending decisions, and the influence of others who may express a sudden interest in “helping” them…

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Adding Trusted Persons to Bank Accounts

Adding trusted persons to bank accounts and property titles with rights of survivorship often does not result in an easy ownership transfer upon death, due to the risks of increased taxation, disinheritance, litigation and other problems relating to the joint owner’s illness, untimely death, divorce, debt or poor judgment. A good trust will achieve the same objectives while avoiding virtually […]

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