Estate Planning Archives

IRS Increases Gift Limits in 2018

In 2018, the IRS is increasing the annual exclusion from gift tax. In 2018, the first $15,000 of gifts to any person (other than gifts of future interests in property) are not included in the total amount of taxable gifts. More simply put, if you make a gift to a person of $15,000.00 or less, you do not have to file a gift tax return.

Mistakes to Avoid- Multiple Beneficiaries On Deed

Beneficiary designations, account titling (ownership arrangements), and traditional estate planning tools (trusts and last wills) work together to create a fully functioning estate plan. Another common mistake made with beneficiary designations and ownership arrangements includes naming several people on the deed with you.

You Must Have a Health Care Proxy with a HIPPA Release

As discussed in the previous postings, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), was enacted in 1996. It was created to assure that individuals' health information is properly protected. The previous postings listed information that the Privacy Rule protects, information that can be disclosed, and the entities that must keep private health information private.

Estate Planning- Avoid a Disaster With a Common Disaster Cause

When discussing client's Last Wills, I always discuss the possibility of a common disaster. I know it's not pleasant, but it is a reality, and should be discussed. Why? Because you, the client, can, and should, have control over the disposition of your property. If the testator and the beneficiary die in a common disaster where it is impossible to determine who passed away first, or death occurs in close proximity of time, you can direct (in your Last Will) that you want the presumption of surviving your beneficiary. You may not always want this presumption, but most times you do. An example may clarify.

Revoking a Health Care Proxy

An appointed health care agent stands in your shoes and makes important medical decisions for you with your doctors about your medical treatment and may even stop life sustaining measures if there is no hope of recovery. If you feel that this person is no longer the right person to act as your agent you may want to revoke your agent's authority to speak on your behalf. There are several ways a client can revoke a health care proxy.

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