While real estate can be easily transferred or mortgaged, it is important to seek advice from a qualified professional to adequately protect your property and maintain the integrity of your estate plan. Here are five points to ponder.
Posts Categorized: Asset Preservation
America’s vulnerable, graying population, and the concentration of wealth among older adults, has created a massive opportunity for fraud. Hard statistics are not available, but experts suspect that perhaps half a million elderly adults are ripped off by family members, lawyers and accountants every year, potentially taking $2.6 billion from infirm older Americans. The crime is known as elder financial abuse.
You can do your estate planning documents yourself, but by saving a few bucks now, you may cost your loved ones a lot more later. Here is an excerpt from, and link to, an interesting article by Deborah L. Jacobs.
A scenario that plays out far too often: a parent’s intended beneficiaries lose most of their inheritance to the IRS, court costs, and lawyers. This recent Tax Court case provides a cautionary tale about the perils of incomplete planning.
By dying in 2010, the billionaire and long-time New York Yankees owner’s wealth avoids the federal estate tax, likely saving his heirs enough money to field an entire team of Alex Rodriguezes.
Some words of wisdom for people who have assets in, or reside in, multiple jurisdictions.
Heartbreaking stories like this are way too commonplace. We have had our share of similar, well-publicized problems in Hawaii. A primary mode of elder financial abuse is by the misuse of durable powers of attorney. Powers of attorney can be helpful tools, but they must be carefully managed and maintained, and they must be judiciously granted. It pays to have checks and balances, as well as systems of accountability, in place.
Premarital agreements may not be the most romantic things in the world, nor the easiest to discuss with a prospective spouse. However, they do have a place in estate planning. A scenario we see way too often is where a widowed individual marries late in life and leaves assets to a second spouse. The second spouse subsequently leaves those assets to his or her kids, to the exclusion of the children of the original owner. This is fertile ground for lawsuits and long-term resentments that could easily be avoided with proper planning. A premarital agreement is not necessarily a concession that a marriage work out. In fact, it can promote long-term stability in the marriage, with the added benefits of encouraging friendly relations between the surviving spouse and members of the next generation, as well as between his and her kids after the marital partners are both gone.
It’s looking more and more like the estate tax will be coming back with a vengeance in 2011. It’s not too early to plan for how to minimize the bite. This WSJ article provides a pretty good explanation of the current situation and future prospects.
Dan L. Duncan, a soft-spoken farm boy who started with $10,000 and two propane trucks, and built a network of natural gas processing plants and pipelines that made him the richest person in Houston, died in late March of a brain hemorrhage at 77. Had his life ended three months earlier, Mr. Duncan’s riches —… Read More »