People engage in estate planning to establish a comprehensive plan to cover what happens to their money and property in the event of disability or death. There are many variations to an estate plan and each one is custom tailored to your personal situation. A typical estate plan will create a trust which will (i) be changeable (revocable); (ii) will keep your estate out of the probate court system; (iii) will keep your affairs private; (iv) will have a definite plan as to who receives your money and property on your passing; (v) will provide for your surviving spouse; (vi) will be set up to save estate and gift taxes; (vi) will minimize property tax increases on your passing: (vii) will state exactly who will be the successor trustee to control the trust and for how long and (viii) consider income tax implications of transfers of money and property.
A professionally prepared estate plan can protect your family from many of the uncertainties of life and avoid expensive and costly probate court proceedings.PROFESSIONAL DISCIPLINES INVOLVED IN ESTATE PLANNING
A workable estate plan requires the services of an attorney knowledgeable in the areas of trusts, wills, probate court procedure, real estate, and taxation. All estate plans require the consideration of property taxes, estate taxes, and income taxes. People also often involve their personal certified public accountants and securities brokers in the decision-making process. Also, where real estate is involved, the knowledge of a real estate broker and property manager may be considered as well.TAXATION AND ESTATE PLANNING
The tax issues involving estate planning and trusts that must be determined in each situation involved are:
- Will the money & property in the trust be subject to federal estate taxes on the death of the Trustors?
- Will the income generated by the trust (ordinary income, portfolio income, or capital gains) be taxed on the Trustor’s personal income tax returns, or will the trust pay the tax, or will the beneficiaries pay the tax?
- Will there be gift taxes on the transfers into the trust?
- Will there be an increase in the property taxes for property placed into a trust?
- What will happen to the income tax basis of properties and assets if transferred into a trust as compared to giving them directly to heirs before death?
- Who will be paying income taxes on income generated by a trust or estate?
David Crockett’s experience as a lawyer, certified public accountant, real estate broker and owner and operator of commercial real estate enables us to provide a higher level of estate planning services to our clients. We have the knowledge and resources that allow our clients to delve into deeper, more complex levels of estate planning including tax planning and income tax and other tax strategies. Additionally, David Crockett is a licensed Real Estate Broker providing more experience, skills and resources which benefit his clients. Our comprehensive estate planning services include all documents and government registrations if needed for:
- Wills — Naming those who will inherit your assets when you pass away. In a typical estate plan the will states that everything left is to be placed into the living trust.
- Living (revocable) Trusts — Typically created to avoid taxes and probate and ensure your estate is handled according to your specific plan.
- Powers of attorney — Appointing a person you trust to handle personal and business affairs if you re disabled.
- Health care directives — Making a plan for carrying out your health care preferences.
- Asset protection — Safeguarding personal and business assets from creditors by creating corporations, limited liability companies, and family limited partnerships.
- Business assets — Protecting business assets and limiting liabilities within statutory guidelines.
- Real estate — Advising on the full spectrum of commercial and residential real estate law and marketing issues.
- Life insurance trusts- A special type of permanent trust to hold life insurance policies which keeps death benefit proceeds out of your estate and passes them tax free to the next generation.
- Special needs trusts- Used to preserve and control assets for persons with mental or physical disabilities.
- Life estates-Typically set up to allow a spouse or friend to live in your home for the rest of their life and the leave the home to your children or others as you designate.