Citizenship Can Impact Asset Transfers Between Spouses

Large asset transfers are taxable in the United States. We have a federal estate tax that carries a 40 percent top rate, and there is also a federal gift tax. The gift tax and the estate tax are unified, so they have the same rate. There is a relatively large unified lifetime exclusion that you can use to facilitate tax-free asset transfers up to a certain point. For the rest of 2015, the amount of this unified exclusion or credit is $5.43 million. Inflation adjustments are applied on an annual basis, so when a new year rolls around, you may see a slightly larger figure. Asset transfers that exceed the amount of this exclusion would potentially be subject to the federal estate tax, with one exception. If you are legally married in the eyes of the law, and you are married to an American citizen, you can use the unlimited marital deduction to transfer unlimited assets to your spouse free of taxation. Why would the citizenship stipulation be in place? Giving everything to your spouse tax

Veterans A & A Special Pension Can Defray Long-Term Care Costs

People who devote time to military service make significant sacrifices, but they also obtain certain rewards. There are educational opportunities in the military, and you can obtain an education while you simultaneously build your resume as you serve your country. There are also benefits that can help you after you leave the service. People who serve for at least 20 years can qualify for a retirement pension, and if you stay longer than this, your retirement pension will be greater. In addition to the retirement pension, there is another pension that is called the Veterans Aid and Attendance special pension. The name of this pension is often shortened to Veterans A & A. While the length of service requirement for the retirement pension is 20 years at minimum, things are different with Veterans A & A . To meet the requirement with regard to length of service, you must have served for at least one day during a time of war. Your total length of service must be at least 90 days. The Veter

Inheritance Planning Decisions Can Lead to Family Feuds

Inheritance planning can involve a great deal of soul-searching. Of course there are technical details that must be addressed, and this is an important piece of the puzzle. At the same time, there are also very personal considerations that can enter the equation when you are engaged in your inheritance planning efforts. Unfortunately, you may not get along with everyone in your family, and you could harbor hard feelings toward certain individuals who would logically be in line for inheritances. Since you will not be around to experience the fallout, you may be tempted to send messages when you are deciding how much (if anything) you want to pass along to these family members. Without question, you have the right to do anything that you want to do with your resources. However, you may want to consider the dynamic that could be left behind if you know full well that your inheritance planning decisions will not sit well with some people. Estate Challenges If you use a will to state your

Is Probate a Lengthy Process?

There are some myths that circulate with regard to estate planning and last wills. Most people have heard of the role of the executor. An executor is someone who handles the administration of the estate after an individual passes away. Many people assume that there is a reading of the will, and after it is read among family members, the executor can distribute assets more or less immediately. In reality, things do not work in this manner. There is a legal process called probate that enters the picture. The estate executor would be required to admit the will to probate under state laws. It would be up to the probate court to supervise the administration of the estate. The will would be examined to determine its validity, and the executor would be required to notify creditors. They would be given a certain amount of time to come forward. Ultimately, the executor would prepare the assets for distribution among the heirs in accordance with the wishes of the decedent. If you think about it

A Family Limited Partnership Can Satisfy Multiple Objectives

When you are devising a financial plan as a small business owner, you should consider the importance of asset protection. There are always going to be individuals who look for targets in this litigious society, and you have to take the appropriate steps if you want to make sure that your assets are protected from litigants. With this in mind, let s look at the value of family limited partnerships. Family Limited Partnerships Of course, anyone can be sued, but people who are involved in certain businesses are particularly vulnerable. For example, consider the situation that a landlord would be in. Tenants and visitors could potentially get injured on rented property, and this would be an ongoing possibility. Doctors are also quite vulnerable to legal actions. They are viewed as deep pocket targets by opportunistic types, and they are inherently exposed to malpractice actions. A family limited partnership could potentially provide an asset protection solution. The person who creates the

Trust Administration and the Role of the Trustee

Revocable living trusts are very useful for a wide range of people. You do not have to be a millionaire to benefit from the utilization of a living trust as the centerpiece of your estate plan. Many people assume that a last will is the only logical document to use, because they feel as though a will is the simplest and most efficient estate planning device. In fact, the estate administration process can get rather complicated when you utilize a will to state your final wishes with regard to asset transfers. The executor or the personal representative is the person who would handle the estate administration tasks after you die if you use a will. You could nominate an executor when you create the will. Under Connecticut state laws, the executor would be required to admit the will to probate after your passing. During this process, the probate court would supervise the actions of the executor while the estate is being administered. The heirs would have to wait out this process. Inherita