Phlianthropy As Part of An Estate Plan

A recent trend we are seeing in our client’s estate planning objectives is their desire to allocate a portion of their income or estate to charitable organizations.  This also seems to be a trend with the ultra wealthy. Bono (lead singer for the band U2) has a desire to alleviate third world poverty, Bill and Melinda Gates continue to fund programs all over the world, and Warren Buffett plans to give away the majority of his wealth.  Their objectives are primarily non-financial, but we see financial reasons behind the use of philanthropy as part of estate planning too. Non-Financial Reasons: To support an institution or organization:  college or private school,… Read more »

Estate Planning Part Four – Stephen Palm

Estate Planning Part Four A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document that partially replaces a will and is created during the lifetime of the grantor. Similar to a will this trust is “revocable”, which means the grantor can make changes or even eliminate it at a later date. There are three primary benefits of a Revocable Living Trust: 1. Privacy.2. Quick asset-transfer process.3. Reduction of probate cost. After establishing a Revocable Living Trust, the grantor must re-title assets placed into the trust. Assets such as a house, investment property, cars, bank accounts, non-IRA investment accounts, etc. may be included in the trust. Usually, the grantor names himself as trustee… Read more »

Estate Planning Part One – Stephen Palm

Estate Planning Part One Estate Planning is the process of arranging for the orderly distribution of assets (property and investments) upon a person’s death. And as the old saying tells us, “You can’t take it with you”; even so, we have to ask ourselves, “So what do we want to do with it?” The process can be very specific and elaborate depending on the size of the estate, the assets of the estate, or the desires of the individual. No matter the size of the estate, every person should have a plan for the transfer of their assets. If you should die without a will (intestate) the state in which… Read more »

Estate Planning Part Two – Stephen Palm

Estate Planning Part Two UPON DEATH, WHICH DOCUMENTS DIRECT THE ASSETS OF AN ESTATE? Beneficiary Form – IRA and Life Insurance Policy proceeds are distributed after death based on the Primary and Secondary beneficiaries listed for each account. These assets are not directed by the will unless there are no survivingbeneficiaries or the estate is listed as a beneficiary. You can name multiple beneficiaries and identify specific percentages or amounts for each. If the IRA Primary beneficiary is your spouse, the spouse can treat the inherited IRA as his/her own. The spouse isfree to make beneficiary changes, so it is possible children from a prior marriage could be left out…. Read more »

Estate Planning Part Three – Stephen Palm

Estate Planning Part Three Wills may contain provisions for creating a trust upon a person’s death. A trust created after death is called a Testa-mentary Trust. The Decedent, or person who died, leaves instructions in his or her will for the Executor, generally a friend or family member, to transfer the necessary assets. When the trust is established, a Trustee, which is generally a bank, is responsible for the distribution of the assets to the heirs as outlined in the will. The Trustee is considered to be a Fiduciary, a person with a legal duty to act in the best interest of another. A trust beneficiary is the person who… Read more »