Estate Planning Resources
Protecting Estates of Moderate Value
Without adequate estate planning, you may encounter some or all of the following problems:
- Upon your death, there would be a required probate court case.
- News of your death would be distributed publicly via newspaper notices as required by law, and asset information becomes public record.
- Your loved ones would be relegated to waiting from one to two years before receiving their shares.
- Over time, personal effects and valuables could create serious rifts among beneficiaries without an estate plan containing collaborative language.
- Your health care wishes may not be granted.
- Young beneficiaries turning 18 years of age will receive their entire inheritances all at once leading to undesirable outcomes.
- Your estate could be subject to federal estate taxes of up to 40 percent in addition to state estate taxes.
- Should you become unable to make financial decisions for yourself, your family could spend $15,000 or more to complete a guardianship proceeding to get access to your funds, even for your benefit.
Paying Estate Taxes
Estate taxes are not paid automatically. The executor of the estate must write a check to the IRS for the amount due. The IRS only accepts cash and the amount is due within nine months of death.
Estate Tax Elimination Planning
This is estate planning that uses a combination of over 70 IRS-approved tools and techniques to redirect estate and capital gains tax dollars away from taxes and to family and/or charities.
For example, we helped an elderly widow facing $1.3 million in estate taxes completely eliminate her estate taxes while increasing her loved ones’ inheritances and giving more than $2 million to charity through the use of Charitable Trusts.
We also helped another woman save $160,000 in capital gains taxes on the sale of a farm and $352,000 in estate taxes using a Charitable Remainder Trust. Her plan allowed her to allocate more than $800,000 to charity.
Many people don’t take advantage of estate tax elimination estate planning because those who own assets don’t know that they have an estate tax or that they have a legitimate choice between paying taxes and helping their family and/or the charities of their choice. That is why Piercey & Associates, Ltd. frequently conducts educational seminars around the country on this subject.
Reviewing and Updating Your Estate Plan
The general rule is that you should review your estate plan with an estate planning attorney every five to ten years. However, if a life-changing event takes place such as the death of a spouse, an inheritance, the birth of a child, a major illness, or any other similar major event, you should review it sooner. We also recommend that your plan should be reviewed immediately if it was not prepared by an attorney who focuses in estate and trust law.
Not only do our tax and estate laws change on a regular basis, but people and their circumstances change, as well. This applies to the people and organizations that you wish to receive your estate, as well as the people you have named to handle the tasks of closing out and distributing your estate