Good summary article here on why its important for young adults to think about getting some basic documents in place.Tweet
Shawn McCammon (Liberty Law, A.P.C.) was just named Best Attorney in the annual “Best of” Tehama County, which is voted on by the readers of the Daily News. We would like to thank our friends, family, and clients for all their support! We are truly blessed, and we look forward to serving you for many years to come. Look for our thank you in the annual Best Of publication due out in the next week or two.Tweet
Here is a nice article from Ahmed Shaikh, a certified estate planning specialist, on the classic tale of Cinderella!
Fiscal Cliff Update: Whether you approve or disapprove of the Fiscal Cliff deal made by President Obama, the Senate, and the Congress, as of the date of this blog post it is the law of the land. While folks on either side of the aisle may argue about income tax cuts or increases for certain income brackets, you can take some comfort in the fact that the Fiscal Cliff deal will have few negative effects on your current estate plans. In fact, you may be surprised to find that the Fiscal Cliff deal was an overall good deal with regards to estate planning.
Without the fiscal cliff deal in place, the federal estate tax exclusion limit (the amount you could transfer tax-free during your lifetime or after your death) would automatically have dropped significantly from $5,120,000.00 to $1,000,000.00. Estates that were worth more than $1,000,000.00 would have been taxed at the rate of 55%. The Fiscal Cliff deal prevented this from occurring. If your estate is worth more than $5,120,000.00, then your estate will be taxed at a rate of 40% rather than the 55%. Admittedly, the 40% rate is still higher than the maximum rate of 35% which large estates were taxed at last year, but overall, we can be thankful that there was no major drop in the federal state tax limit.
Furthermore, the Fiscal Cliff deal made the portability law passed in 2010 a permanent feature in estate taxes. For those unfamiliar with the portability concept, the law allows a married couple to combine their federal estate tax exclusions so that they may transfer during or after their lifetime up to $10,240,000.00 tax-free.
Finally, the Fiscal Cliff deal increases the annual gift tax exclusion. The limit in 2012 was $13,000.00, and it will increase slightly to $14,000.00. This means that each spouse may give a gift valued at $14,000.00 in a single year without that amount counting against the spouse’s federal estate tax exclusion. This yearly amount may also be combined so that both spouses together can grant a gift to a single person worth $28,000.00 without the gift counting against their federal estate tax exclusion. The couple may make gifts to as many people as they choose, and so long as the gift does not exceed $28,000.00, it will not count against the couple’s federal estate tax exclusion.
While the Fiscal Cliff deal makes more changes beyond those discussed above, these are the issues most people were likely concerned about. Overall, with regards to estate planning, the Fiscal Cliff’s positives outweigh its negatives. For those interested in looking deeper into the Fiscal Cliff deal’s effects on estate planning, I would encourage you to read the article posted at the link below.
Choosing a guardian for a child is one of the most difficult things a parent may ever have to do. From parenting style to living situation to your gut feeling about this or that person’s ability to love your children as well as you do—there are endless issues to consider before you make the final decision.
What follows is a list of only some of the important questions parents may want to ask themselves as they consider their options for guardian of their minor children:
1. Where does your potential guardian live? Will your child be able to stay in a familiar environment during the emotional transition, or will he or she have to move to another city or state?
2. How well does your child know the potential guardian? A familiar parenting style is important, but just as important is how well your child knows the potential guardian and what level of trust he or she feels. If you’re choosing a sibling who lives far away, you may want to make an effort to foster a close relationship between your child and the person you’re nominating as guardian.
3. Is your potential guardian emotionally, physically and financially prepared to care for your child or children? An aging grandparent may love your children without reservation, but may not by physically able to care for a high energy youngster. Likewise, a beloved aunt in her early twenties simply may not have the financial ability to provide for a young quartet of siblings.
4. Does one or more of your children have special needs that will require special knowledge or care? The sudden responsibilities of parenthood would be difficult for anyone, but sudden responsibility for a special-needs child can be overwhelmingly so. Make sure you’ve prepared your potential guardian, and provided for whatever your children may need.
5. Have you discussed your decision with your potential guardian? Before you name someone as your child’s guardian, you’ll want to have a frank and open discussion with them about your mutual hopes and concerns. Make sure your guardian knows that he or she can say no if they are unable to take on the responsibility for any reason—and ensure that you have a backup nomination (or two or three) just in case your first choice does have to decline.
Having children means always planning ahead and thinking about the future, even as you try to live in the present and appreciate the small moments in every day. Nominating a guardian for your children makes it that much easier to focus on the here and now, because in the back of your mind you’ll know that your children will be protected if something happens to you. Let our firm help you achieve that peace of mind.
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