Month: September 2017

Which Of These Powerful Secrets Could You Use To Build Your Ideal Estate Planning Legal Program

Which Of These Powerful Secrets Could You Use To Build Your Ideal Estate Planning Legal Program

  • Keep your estate settlement simple;
  • Avoid the court-supervised Probate process when you die;
  • Avoid federal and state estate and gift tax;
  • Avoid losing your home and life-savings to nursing home expenses;
  • Designate the right person or people to handle your estate when you’re gone;
  • Set up your estate legal program so that it takes days or weeks to settle your estate – rather than months or years;
  • Avoid assets from having to be sold within nine months of your death to pay estate tax;
  • Protect your children’s inheritance from their past, present, or future divorces;
  • Provide for your special needs children and grandchildren so that their government benefits are protected;
  • Protect both your spouse AND your children in a blended family situation;
  • Set up your retirement accounts and IRAs to minimize tax and maximize the benefit to your family;
  • Provide for the distribution of your personal effects without causing a fight among surviving family members;
  • Provide for your unstable children or heirs (on drugs or alcohol, or unable to responsibly handle money) so their inheritance is protected from themselves;
  • Keep your financial affairs private when you die, outside of the public records, and off the internet;
  • Keep your family from having to pay capital gains tax when they sell your property after you die;
  • Ensure that the right family members have access and authority when you become incapacitated and protect what you have while you are alive and need it most;
  • Avoid Medicaid’s Estate Recovery liens from taking your home and vehicles after you pass away;
  • Keep your loved ones from having to make the often-difficult decision to terminate your life and withdraw life-support machines when you are in a profound vegetative state, hooked up to machines, with no chance of recovery;
  • Arrange your estate legal affairs so that when you have a stroke, illness, or accident and become incapacitated, the right people will have the authority to make decisions for you, without interference from other difficult family members, and without the need for a court guardianship proceeding;
  • Provide for your grandchildren in a way that they benefit from the inheritance for decades after you die.

To learn more about these secrets talk to the estate lawyers of Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners, LLC practice law in the areas of Probate, Wills, Estate Planning, and Trusts. We assist clients in and around Madison, Wisconsin with all matters related to estate planning, trusts, and probate matters. Our dedicated attorneys will even make house calls if you are unable to come to our office.

Contact our office by calling (608) 268-5751 to schedule a consultation or use our online contact form.

Which Of These Powerful Secrets Could You Use To Build Your Ideal Estate Planning Legal Program

  • Keep your estate settlement simple;
  • Avoid the court-supervised Probate process when you die;
  • Avoid federal and state estate and gift tax;
  • Avoid losing your home and life-savings to nursing home expenses;
  • Designate the right person or people to handle your estate when you’re gone;
  • Set up your estate legal program so that it takes days or weeks to settle your estate – rather than months or years;
  • Avoid assets from having to be sold within nine months of your death to pay estate tax;
  • Protect your children’s inheritance from their past, present, or future divorces;
  • Provide for your special needs children and grandchildren so that their government benefits are protected;
  • Protect both your spouse AND your children in a blended family situation;
  • Set up your retirement accounts and IRAs to minimize tax and maximize the benefit to your family;
  • Provide for the distribution of your personal effects without causing a fight among surviving family members;
  • Provide for your unstable children or heirs (on drugs or alcohol, or unable to responsibly handle money) so their inheritance is protected from themselves;
  • Keep your financial affairs private when you die, outside of the public records, and off the internet;
  • Keep your family from having to pay capital gains tax when they sell your property after you die;
  • Ensure that the right family members have access and authority when you become incapacitated and protect what you have while you are alive and need it most;
  • Avoid Medicaid’s Estate Recovery liens from taking your home and vehicles after you pass away;
  • Keep your loved ones from having to make the often-difficult decision to terminate your life and withdraw life-support machines when you are in a profound vegetative state, hooked up to machines, with no chance of recovery;
  • Arrange your estate legal affairs so that when you have a stroke, illness, or accident and become incapacitated, the right people will have the authority to make decisions for you, without interference from other difficult family members, and without the need for a court guardianship proceeding;
  • Provide for your grandchildren in a way that they benefit from the inheritance for decades after you die.

To learn more about these secrets talk to the estate planning lawyers of Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners, LLC.  They practice law in the areas of Probate, Wills, Estate Planning, and Trusts. We assist clients in and around Madison, Wisconsin with all matters related to estate planning, trusts, and probate matters. Our dedicated attorneys will even make house calls if you are unable to come to our office.

Contact our office by calling (608) 268-5751 to schedule a consultation or use our online contact form.

Are You Making Some of the Biggest Estate-Planning Mistakes

Are You Making Some of the Biggest Estate-Planning Mistakes?

There are some things we just don’t like to think about, much less speak about. The universal truth is we are all going to pass away one day. The legacy you leave can either simplify the process of dealing with your personal and financial property, or it can be a worrisome burden for those you leave behind.

Legacy planning is as important as your final wishes. So, as much as you avoid the topic, it can’t be — and shouldn’t be — ignored.

When discussing this subject, I like to point out to people that it is often the smallest things that can come back to bite you. I’m reminded of the proverb that says, “For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost.”

So let’s take a look at what you should discuss with a qualified attorney to help make sure your kingdom — and your legacy — isn’t lost.

There are several common mistakes people can make when planning — or not planning — for what will happen with their estates when they die. A few of those mistakes include:

Lack of a see-through provision on a trust.

This can prove very costly. For example, consider a couple who has a $1 million Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”) and the beneficiary of the IRA is a trust. If there is no see-through provision on the trust, the couple’s estate could potentially owe several hundred thousand dollars in taxes when the IRA is passed to beneficiaries due to the higher tax rates trusts are often subject to. In certain circumstances, a trust may be an appropriate beneficiary for an IRA.

A “see-through trust” refers to a trust that meets specific legal requirements and serves as the named beneficiary of an IRA. In this scenario, The IRS will “see through” the trust and treat the trust’s beneficiaries as if they were the IRA’s direct beneficiaries. The beneficiaries’ life expectancies will then be used to determine the IRA’s required minimum distributions. Additionally, a see-through provision allows these distributions to be taxed at the individual beneficiary’s tax rate rather than at the trust’s tax rate.

Oftentimes, a trust’s tax rate is higher than an individual’s. Therefore, a see-through provision could help prevent a large tax bill when the owner of the IRA dies, depending on the individual beneficiary’s tax situation.

A blank or incomplete Schedule.

Schedules are attachments to the trust document that contain important details concerning the trust (most commonly a Schedule A). For example, most trusts have a schedule that is the inventory sheet of the trust, and it typically details what assets you have transferred into the trust. As such, it’s important to make sure all schedules are complete and accurate — it shouldn’t be blank! It is important to confirm with your attorney that your trust actually owns the assets you intend for it to own.

If it’s not clear what assets the trust owns on the statement, you should be concerned and meet with an attorney who can review your trust to help ensure your wishes are accurately reflected.

Having too many accounts.

The FDIC places a limit of $250,000 per depositor, per bank on the amount that it will insure. As such, you may consider consolidating some of your bank accounts if you have more than you actually need to ensure you are protected. Otherwise, you might overcomplicate your estate.

Leaving no inventory of assets.

So where is everything? Even if you have been meticulous about having all the right documents, it does no one any good if they can’t find them after you die. So leave your loved ones a checklist to tell them where they can find your birth certificate, Social Security card, marriage license, pre-nuptial agreement, military records, will, burial instructions, cemetery plot deed or cremation agreement, bank and credit documents, mortgage papers, personal financial documents, and safe deposit box and keys.

Your legacy is the last impression you leave behind. The last thing families want to do is leave their children or beneficiaries 1,000 puzzle pieces scattered all over the floor. A legacy is not a 1,000-piece puzzle scattered to the wind but a picture worthy to be framed

The estate lawyers of Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners, LLC practice law in the areas of Probate, Wills, Estate Planning, and Trusts. We assist clients in and around Madison, Wisconsin with all matters related to estate planning, trusts, and probate matters. Our dedicated attorneys will even make house calls if you are unable to come to our office.

Contact our office by calling (608) 268-5751 to schedule a consultation or use our online contact form.

Scroll to Top