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Estate Planning Archives

Is there such a thing as “too much” inheritance?

A recent publication in The Atlantic estimates over 1.4 million American households hold over $5 million in assets. With such large wealth in the country, many are starting to ask whether there is such a thing as “too much” inheritance. For many wealthy families, the question stems from a concern that future generations should be encouraged to be productive members of society instead of planning for a future of financial stability thanks to the cushion of a large inheritance.

Estate planning myth #1: A will is enough.

Putting together an estate plan is likely on your “to do” list. For those who already have a plan, they may have an annual reminder to review the plan and make changes as needed. Whether you are one of the millions in the former situation or part of the more prepared later group, it is important to make sure your estate plan truly encompasses your wishes.

Estate planning and the question of fairness

Fair does not always mean equal. Parents learn this lesson while their children are young. It quickly becomes apparent that each child has their own personality and may have different needs. This can translate to different forms of parenting styles for each child.

Three common mistakes when using DIY estate plans

Putting together an estate plan is a unique process for everyone. Although legal professionals will caution against the use of do-it-yourself (DIY) estate planning tools, nothing sends the message home better than real life examples of the errors that can occur when using these fill-in-the-blank documents.

When does your will need to be revised?

Your will protects your personal wishes and your family's legacy. That will you made five or 10 years ago needs some changes. Like a house, your will needs minor updates and changes as time progresses. At home, the paint on your wall may have started to chip or the large family picture on your mantle may need replacing. Similarly, it is important to update your will when you have family or circumstantial changes. 

Prepare for your pet’s future with a trust

The dogs, cats and other animals we share our homes with become more than just pets. For many, these furry, feathered or even scaled companions become family members. As such, an increasing number of pet owners are taking steps to better ensure their pets receive a similar level of care throughout the pet’s life.

Two things you may not know about irrevocable trusts

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) increased the estate-tax exclusion rate. The rates increased from approximately $5.5 million to $11.4 million per person to or $22.8 million for a married couple. As a result, it is wise to consider putting certain estate planning tools into effect now to take advantage of these rates.

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