Estate Tax

The Estate Tax for 2018 is projected to top $11 million. This means that if you and your spouse were to leave less than $11 million to your children, then there would not be an estate tax levied. The estate tax affects a very small percentage of our population, less than 1% in fact. So why does the 99% need Estate Planning? The answer is that tax consequences was always secondary to the purpose of Estate Planning; passing your assets to those that you want, when you want, and how you want them distributed. The purpose of estate planning is to limit family (usually sibling) fighting over money after you pass away. A good estate plan clearly expresses how the distribution is to be done, when,

Bitcoin and Estate Planning

Recently I had an estate planning client with a substantial amount of assets in bitcoin. The issue from an estate planning perspective is that the assets are nearly impossible to access without the passwords, and state laws have not been updated to reflect this new form of currency. As a means for my clients' heirs and beneficiaries to avoid a long and prolonged battle, I provide my clients with a spreadsheet of assets, including account numbers, phone numbers of financial advisors, and necessary passwords for access. It is critically important to have an estate plan done by an experienced attorney and not an online version that does not provide these crucial steps.

Nursing Home Tragedy

The recent tragedy in Hollywood regarding the nursing home and the seniors who needlessly died in Irma brings to light several issues. The obvious first issue is the lack of preparedness on the facility. As I am reading in the papers, those responsible will be held accountable. However, as I have some more time to reflect on this matter, it occurred to me that there is a fundamental flaw in the "system". Regarding Assisted Living Facilities (ALF's), there is a private cottage industry of professionals who guide the families into the appropriate facilities for their needs and financial abilities. These professionals are usually paid by the ALF itself as a referral fee. This does not happen

Estate Planning Mistakes

The first mistake with the use of trusts is not using the right type of trust. There are many different types of trusts. By far the most common type of trust is a Revocable Living Trust, often called a “RLT.” A RLT is a great solution for most situations. It can provide for management of your assets during incapacity, avoids probate at death, etc. But, it may not be the right solution for every situation. For example, if someone is looking to qualify for Medicaid in the future, the assets in a RLT will be considered available resources, just as if those assets were owned outright. A special irrevocable trust could be used if one wished to qualify for Medicaid. Such a Medicaid trust could lim

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(786) 463-4463

North Miami Beach, Florida