Archive for August, 2011

THE ESSENTIALS OF ESTATE PLANNING

August 26, 2011

EXPLANATIONS OF WILLS AND TRUSTS

WHAT IS A WILL?

A will is quite simply a legal declaration that enables you to direct the disposition of your assets upon your death. You can divide your assets any way you want, as long as guidelines are presented clearly in writing. The portion of your estate covered by a will includes both tangible assets such as your home or your car, and intangible assets, such as bank accounts and mutual fund shares. Other rights and benefits, like pension rights and life insurance proceeds, are normally handled outside of your will. In most cases, those benefits are paid directly to your designated beneficiaries. While the cost of creating a will can vary depending on the complexity of your estate, most range in price from $150 to $500.

WHAT IS A TRUST?

A trust is a three-part agreement in which the owner of an estate, or the trust’s “grantor”, transfers the legal title to that estate to somebody else (the trustee) for the purpose of benefitting one or more third parties (the beneficiaries). Trusts may be revocable or irrevocable and may be included in a will to take effect after death.

Revocable trust’s can be changed or revoked at any time. For this reason, the government considers the specified assets to still be included in the grantor’s taxable estate. Therefore, you must pay income taxes on revenue generated by the trust and possibly estate taxes on those assets remaining after your death.

Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed once they are set up. The assets placed into an irrevocable trust are permanently removed from the grantor’s estate and transferred to the trust. Income and capital gains taxes on assets in the trust are paid by the trust. Upon a grantor’s death, the assets in the trust are not considered party of the estate and are not subject to estate taxes.

Most revocable trusts become irrevocable at the death or disability of the grantor.

BENEFITS OF A TRUST

Although trust can be used in many ways for estate planning, they are most commonly used to:

•    provide expert management of estates
•    provide security for both the grantor and the beneficiaries
•    protect real estate holdings for a business
•    provide for beneficiaries who are minors or require expert assistance managing money.
•    avoid estate or income taxes
•    avoid probate expenses
•    maintain privacy

COMPARING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WILLS AND TRUSTS

WILLS

•    Allow you to determine how your assets are distributed
•    Provide specific direction for the care of minor children
•    Must go through probate

TRUSTS

•    Preserve assets for beneficiaries
•    Manage taxes
•    Provide expert management
•    Maintain privacy
•    Avoid probate

For more information on my services as an Orange County Estate Planning Attorney and a Los Angeles County Estate Planning Attorney, contact me. My contact information can be found on my website a http://www.nemlawyer.com

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Estate Planning and Long Term Care

August 26, 2011

Did You Know:

People reaching the age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 18.5 years (19.8 years for females and 16.8 years for males)?

The population 65 and over will increase from 35 million in 2000 to 40 million in 2010 (a 15% increase) and then to 55 million in 2020 (a 36% increase for that decade)?

About 60 percent of individuals over age 65 will require at lease some type of long-term care services during their lifetime?

Medicare, the federal health insurance program for those over 65+, paid only 13% of U.S. long-term care bills in 2002.?

A nursing home costs between $60,000 and $80,000 per year? (national average for a private room is approximately $70,000 per year)

From 1990 to 1995, nursing home costs rose 6.25% a year? A government study forecasts that home-health care and nursing home costs will rise 5.8% per year through 2020.

37% of all persons in need of nursing home care are 64 years of age and younger?

Nearly three in ten (28%) adults are saying they are “very” worried that they won’t be able to pay for nursing home and home care services?

Nearly one-third (32%) of people without long term care insurance say it’s just something they’ve thought about?

44.4 million caregivers (or one out of every five households) are involved in caregiving to persons aged 18 or over?

As an Estate Planning Attorney located in Los Alamitos, California servicing Orange County and Los Angeles County I try to ensure that I inform my clients of the need for long term care planning either in their Trusts or Wills, or through the purchase of insurance.

For contact information, see my website at http://www.nemlawyer.com or call me at 562-799-1379.

 

 

 

 

Many think Medicare pays for all long-term care needs for the elderly: in fact, its nursing home coverage is limited mainly to short-term patients recovering from hospital stays.