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Estate plan now or wait until Jan 2018?

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  • Estate plan now or wait until Jan 2018?

    Current administration is touting changes to tax laws.  Should one wait until Jan for estate planning and meeting with a lawyer as opposed to getting something done now and then getting it revised by spending more $ later?  January is around the time tax law changes, if any, are usually enacted.  Thoughts?

  • #2
    If you don't plan on dying between now and next January, I would recommend that you wait.  However, if....

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    • #3
      Do you not have any estate plan in place? I.e. No last will and testament for you and your spouse? No POAs and so forth? If so, you are being penny wise and pound foolish by waiting.

      LW&T's are typically devised so that changes in the numbers, such as are being proposed, are automatically incorporated into the will. iow, generic language such as "an amount" going into the marital trust so as to equal the estate tax exemption.

      For a significant change in tax law that would require a rewrite of your LWT (unlikely), you and everybody else who has a then-outdated LWT will need some changes, but not a totally new construction. Your attorney will have a template in place and will work from that. Much will stay the same (specific bequests, appointment of executors and trustees, etc.) There is much more to a well-drafted LWT than tax considerations.
      Financial planning, investment management and CPA services for medical and high-income professionals | 270-247-6087

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      • #4
        First, what Johanna said.

        Second, elimination of estate tax was a single line in Trump's tax proposal. Expect Democrats to fight that hard. There are many acrimonious months ahead before any tax reform bill even gets voted on, making it unlikely that changes would take effect 2018.

        Third, this only matters if you have a large enough estate to qualify for estate tax, a significant likelihood of both you and your spouse dying soon (marital exemption to estate tax), and a willingness to pay lawyers now in exchange for the potential of your heirs paying less tax later.

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        • #5
          Makes sense to get started now.

           

          Thoughts on insurance trust?  Combined spouse and I will have around 8 mil in life insurance.  Does it make sense to set this up?  It is a bit more complicated and may be more $ to setup.

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          • #6




            Thoughts on insurance trust?  Combined spouse and I will have around 8 mil in life insurance.  Does it make sense to set this up?  It is a bit more complicated and may be more $ to setup.
            Click to expand...


            Sigh, it depends. I know you folks get tired of hearing that, but there are very few cut-and-dried answers. Beneficiaries matter, for example. Do you have small children? In the longer term, this is also dependent upon such information as the type(s) of insurance, your ages, and the size of your overall estate.

            That is a lot of payout - I recommend you review with your T&E planning attorney in conjunction with your CPA and/or financial planner.
            Financial planning, investment management and CPA services for medical and high-income professionals | 270-247-6087

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            • #7
              People are still busy planning their estates despite possibility of legislation improving.  Definitely not as busy as pre-election or end of 2012, but still busy.

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              • #8







                Thoughts on insurance trust?  Combined spouse and I will have around 8 mil in life insurance.  Does it make sense to set this up?  It is a bit more complicated and may be more $ to setup.
                Click to expand…


                Sigh, it depends. I know you folks get tired of hearing that, but there are very few cut-and-dried answers. Beneficiaries matter, for example. Do you have small children? In the longer term, this is also dependent upon such information as the type(s) of insurance, your ages, and the size of your overall estate.

                That is a lot of payout – I recommend you review with your T&E planning attorney in conjunction with your CPA and/or financial planner.
                Click to expand...


                Very very small child.  Overall estate barely positive.

                 

                I am not sure worth the extra expense and hassle. I have been researching this extensively.

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                • #9
                  there is a trend where people here are trying to save pennies and not seeing the big picture.

                  spend $250 on legal zoom or whatever or $1000 for a real life lawyer.

                  if god forbid something were to happen, do you really want money to be tied up and no specific instructions on how to use the money?  do you want your crazy in laws to spend 8 million on themselves?  separate issue --With one very very small child, unless there are special needs or business needs for that money, it could be argued that 8 million is overkill.

                  it is likely that you will have different uses for the money as kids mature and you mature.

                  we are on our third will.  we have changed which in laws get the kids, how much discretionary income they get, the ages the kids get the money, how much is set aside for the in laws to use for ongoing costs of care, etc over the years.

                  we still have testamentary trust-iow, trusts to be established if we both die.

                  good luck!   hope you don't ever need this plan, or at least not for a long time.

                  don't be so ruthlessly efficient!  sometimes throwing money at a problem is a good way to handle issues.

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                  • #10










                    Thoughts on insurance trust?  Combined spouse and I will have around 8 mil in life insurance.  Does it make sense to set this up?  It is a bit more complicated and may be more $ to setup.
                    Click to expand…


                    Sigh, it depends. I know you folks get tired of hearing that, but there are very few cut-and-dried answers. Beneficiaries matter, for example. Do you have small children? In the longer term, this is also dependent upon such information as the type(s) of insurance, your ages, and the size of your overall estate.

                    That is a lot of payout – I recommend you review with your T&E planning attorney in conjunction with your CPA and/or financial planner.
                    Click to expand…


                    Very very small child.  Overall estate barely positive.

                    I am not sure worth the extra expense and hassle. I have been researching this extensively.
                    Click to expand...


                    Find a good T&E attorney who will sit with you for a free initial consult and go over the pro's and con's. Like  q-school, $8M seems to be a bit of overkill (if you'll pardon the pun), at least for the facts given.
                    Financial planning, investment management and CPA services for medical and high-income professionals | 270-247-6087

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I learn something new every day, $8M in insurance. I would never have thought of such an amount in a life insurance policy at any time.

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                      • #12




                        there is a trend where people here are trying to save pennies and not seeing the big picture.

                        spend $250 on legal zoom or whatever or $1000 for a real life lawyer.

                        if god forbid something were to happen, do you really want money to be tied up and no specific instructions on how to use the money?  do you want your crazy in laws to spend 8 million on themselves?  separate issue –With one very very small child, unless there are special needs or business needs for that money, it could be argued that 8 million is overkill.

                        it is likely that you will have different uses for the money as kids mature and you mature.

                        we are on our third will.  we have changed which in laws get the kids, how much discretionary income they get, the ages the kids get the money, how much is set aside for the in laws to use for ongoing costs of care, etc over the years.

                        we still have testamentary trust-iow, trusts to be established if we both die.

                        good luck!   hope you don’t ever need this plan, or at least not for a long time.

                        don’t be so ruthlessly efficient!  sometimes throwing money at a problem is a good way to handle issues.
                        Click to expand...


                        But of course - I have already contacted multiple T&E attorneys and am getting conflicting answers.  Best to be educated about this stuff as much as possible.

                         

                        And $8mil is combined for both spouses, layered.  We are still considering.  Have not opted in yet.

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                        • #13
                          As far as the will goes, write one now and revisit in a few years.  That's sort of how wills work anyway, it changes as your life changes.

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                          • #14
                            Does the attorney have to be admitted to bar in your state for this process? One attorney said yes, other said no - there is obvious bias but unsure of the answer...0

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                            • #15













                              Thoughts on insurance trust?  Combined spouse and I will have around 8 mil in life insurance.  Does it make sense to set this up?  It is a bit more complicated and may be more $ to setup.
                              Click to expand…


                              Sigh, it depends. I know you folks get tired of hearing that, but there are very few cut-and-dried answers. Beneficiaries matter, for example. Do you have small children? In the longer term, this is also dependent upon such information as the type(s) of insurance, your ages, and the size of your overall estate.

                              That is a lot of payout – I recommend you review with your T&E planning attorney in conjunction with your CPA and/or financial planner.
                              Click to expand…


                              Very very small child.  Overall estate barely positive.

                              I am not sure worth the extra expense and hassle. I have been researching this extensively.
                              Click to expand…


                              Find a good T&E attorney who will sit with you for a free initial consult and go over the pro’s and con’s. Like  q-school, $8M seems to be a bit of overkill (if you’ll pardon the pun), at least for the facts given.
                              Click to expand...


                              Do you want to consult from an attorney who gives away his knowledge or charges for it?

                              A consultation with no charge sounds more like a sales pitch.

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