Estate Planning FAQs

Estate Planning FAQs

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Understanding Living Trusts®

A living trust is a legal document that, just like a will, contains your instructions for what you want to happen to your assets when you die.

Unlike a will, a living trust can avoid probate at death, control all of your assets, and provide for court-free management of your assets if you become incapacitated.

Understanding Funding Your Living Trust

These days many people choose a revocable living trust instead of relying on a will or joint ownership in their estate plan. They like the cost and time savings, plus the added control over assets that a living trust can provide.

Understanding Estate Taxes

Estate taxes are different from and in addition to probate expenses, which can be avoided with a revocable living trust, and final income taxes, which must be paid on income you receive in the year you die.

Understanding Who Should Be Beneficiary of Your IRA

Depending on whom you name as beneficiary, you can keep this money growing tax-deferred for not only your and your spouse’s lifetimes, but also for your children’s or grandchildren’s lifetimes. That can turn even a modest inheritance into millions.

Understanding Corporate Trustees

With people living longer and health care costs continuing to rise, our savings must grow larger and last longer. Deciding where to put your money in an uncertain market with so many investment options from which to choose can be very confusing, and making a wrong decision can be very costly.

Understanding Charitable Remainder Trusts

A CRT lets you convert a highly appreciated asset (like stock or real estate) into lifetime income. It reduces your income taxes now and estate taxes when you die. You pay no capital gains tax when the asset is sold. And it lets you help one or more charities that have special meaning to you.

Understanding Life Insurance Trusts

An irrevocable life insurance trust gives you more control over your insurance policies and the money that is paid from them. It also lets you reduce or even eliminate estate taxes, so more of your estate can go to your loved ones.

Understanding The Duties and Responsibilities of a Trustee

If you have been named as a trustee or successor trustee for someone’s living trust, you may be wondering what you are supposed to do. These FAQs will help.

Glossary of Terms

We try to use plain English in this web site, but if you would like to know the definition of any of the estate planning terms used on this web site, or that you have heard elsewhere, checkout our Glossary of Terms. What needs no explanation is the word “taxes.”