Fundamentals of estate planning

Click here to load reader

  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)



Transcript of Fundamentals of estate planning

  • 1. Fundamentals ofEstate PlanningLaw Offices ofSteven M. Basche,

2. WHY YOU NEED A WILL?You choose: Who gets your property Who cares for your children (guardian) Who is in charge of your estate (executor) Without a will, you get thegovernments will, and you maynot like it 3. WHY YOU MIGHT WANT A TESTAMENTARY TRUST Manage assets for children or otherdependents Ensure that if you and your spouse dieat the same time, your money willmanaged for your childrens ordependents benefit Manage and protect the assets left toyour children or dependents, even afterthey turn 18 4. ADVANCED DIRECTIVES 5. Advance Directives Living Will Appointment of a health carerepresentative Designation of a conservator of theperson for future incapacity Document of anatomical gift 6. Living Will A document that states what medicalactions you would like taken if you cantexpress your wishes Generally, advance directives deal withend-of-life decisions, such as providingor withholding life support or medicalcare in the case of traumatic injury oradvanced disease 7. Appointment of Health Care Representative You choose who you want to makehealth care decisions if you cant Same person makes end of lifedecisions Your physicians role Include consultation with other familymembers 8. Advance Designationof Conservator Your choice of who you would want theprobate court to appoint to asConservator of the Person if a petition isfiled in court Anatomical Gift Expresses your wishes regarding organdonation 9. Why use advance directives? Give you the power of choice. Advance directives ensure that yourwishes regarding end-of-life decisionsare followed End-of-life decisions are very emotionaland difficult for family and friends, andyou might want to alleviate this burdenby using an advance directive Eliminate any question about yourspecific wishes 10. POWER OF ATTORNEY 11. What is a power of attorney? A general power of attorney gives youragent (attorney-in-fact) the right toact on your behalf You can tailor a power of attorney toprovide that it only comes into effectupon disability (but there may beproblems with that). 12. Why usepowers of attorney? Avoids the need for have a courtappoint either a conservator of theperson or a conservator of the estate inthe case of disability You designate the person you want tobe responsible for making decisionsregarding your assets, your residence,and financial affairs 13. LIVING TRUSTS 14. What is a Living Trust? A legal box that you create for the benefit ofanother The Trustee is the boss of the box You are usually both the boss of the box andthe beneficiary during your lifetime You can revoke or amend the trust Any assets in the box do not go through probate However, you still have to pay probate fees onthose assets. 15. Tax implications Living trusts do NOT avoid taxes The income from the trust is includedon your income tax returns during yourlifetime, and the principal (assets of thetrust) are included in your estate forfederal estate tax purposes The trust is treated as if it does notexist for Federal income tax purposes 16. Living trusts and probate If you transfer all of your property to aliving trust, you can potentially avoidprobate* However, living trusts are usually moreexpensive to prepare than a will 17. Asset protection? During your lifetime, assets held in yourliving trust are still subject to claims byyour creditors You can add spendthrift provisions You can include bloodline provisions 18. Privacy Wills become part of the public record inprobate Living trusts do not 19. Disability Protection A living trust is the best way to makesure that if you are disabled, yoursuccessor trustee (often your spouse)can take control of your assets quicklyand easily Banks are getting wary of acceptingpowers of attorney 20. Estate Taxes Estates are potentially subject to a federal andConnecticut estate tax upon death of any individual This year the Federal exemption amount is$5,000,000 Next year it goes down to $1,000,000 unlessCongress acts The Connecticut exemption amount is $2,000,000 perperson Unlimited exemption for assets passed to your spouse Same sex couples need special estate planning 21. Law Offices of Steven M. Basche, LLC Fixed Fee Estate PlanningWillsTrustsPowers of AttorneyAdvance DirectivesHealth Care ProxiesSpecial Needs TrustsMention code CEA8712 and save 10%2389 Main Street, Glastonbury, CT