Why Trusts Are So Confusing
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Trusts are like Calvinball except that the government is trying to play referee. It is quickly confusing.

Q&A: Can you be my executor?
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Sadly, we have to say no. Even though we won’t be your executor, we are still here to help your executor, trustee, and loved ones through the estate maintenance and settlement process.

6 Ways To Prevent Your Estate Plan From Ruining Your Roth IRA
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Many executors, trustees, or even estate plans make careless mistakes which end up in Roth IRAs being distributed too quickly. Here’s a list of ways to prevent your estate plan from ruining your Roth.

How You Take Your Inherited IRA RMD Is the Exception to the Rule
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Inherited RMD rules demonstrates the power and importance of beneficiary designations and why it is so important to set them.

Roth IRAs Make Great Estate Planning Tools
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Taking the smallest distribution each year will ensure the beneficiary achieves the maximum tax-free growth of tax-free income.

Planning for a Funeral
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Funeral expenses are often a family’s fourth largest expense.

Understanding the Estate Tax Return
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The estate tax return is definitely complex, but that’s because it has to account for the multitude of special rules that only apply to a few households.

Testamentary Donor Advised Funds
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An easy estate workaround is to set up a Donor Advised Fund as a Testamentary fund, meaning you aren’t funding it yet, but it will be funded upon your death.

Understanding the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
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The fact that we have an 80% “generous grandparent” tax is ridiculous.

Digital Estate Plan: Facebook Legacy Contact
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Facebook added the “Legacy Contact” feature that allows you to designate a Facebook Friend of yours who you would like to gain access to your Facebook page after you have passed away.

Free Advanced Medical Directives from the Virginia State Bar
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The Virginia State Bar has even made a few variations of a simplified Advanced Directive free to the public on their website.

How Cookie-Cutter Powers of Attorney Fail
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This style of Power of Attorney certainly gets the job done, but there are a few ways that the cookie-cutter POA most frequently fails to meet people’s wishes.

Gifts, Taxes, and IRS Form 709
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Most people are unaware that giving a gift can be a taxable event because they themselves have not yet experienced the tax.

Radio Interview: Wills, Estates, and Beneficiaries
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David and host Rob Schilling discuss what estate planning is, why you want to do it, and explain some of the jargon.

Six Creative Beneficiary Designation Ideas
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These are just some examples of the creative beneficiary designations, but the important part is to dream big about what your wishes are.

Gifting Appreciated Stock To Family Members
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For children with lower incomes, there is an opportunity to give them appreciated stock to shift the capital gains to a lower tax bracket.

Trust Protections from Creditors and Spendthrift Beneficiaries
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The beauty of trusts is that they are very flexible, and an estate lawyer can help you craft a document that will follow your wishes and give you peace of mind.

Utilizing Uncommon Beneficiary Designations
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Will substitutes sacrifice some of the customization of trusts but avoid the accounting complexities.

Can I Write My Own Estate Plan?
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The shortest answer is yes, you can. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

How Frequently Should I Redo My Estate Plan?
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Here are the most common reasons that your plan might need to be updated or revised and what to do about them.

How to Be a Good Executor
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You’ve been named the executor of a relative’s will – now what?

Preparing Your “Digital Estate” – Hardware and Digital Property
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You probably have dozens of online accounts and possibly hundreds of dollars of digital property. What happens to it when you die?

Preparing Your “Digital Estate” – Social Media Edition
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What happens to my Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, and other online accounts when I die? Could I decide?

Get Your Estate in Order, Pt. 3: Choose an Executor
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Who do I choose to be the executor of my estate? What will their basic duties be?

Get Your Estate In Order, Pt. 2: Physical Assets
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Today’s question: What do I want to happen to my physical belongings and assets after my death?

Get Your Estate Plan In Order – Even if You’re Only 26
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Today’s question: What if something happens to me and I am not able to make decisions for myself?

One Hidden Way the IRS Hurts the Bereaved
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It is often said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. The IRS takes that truism to heart.

How To Divide An Inherited Account Evenly
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There is no accounting for how many heirs an account might need to be divided among in an estate plan. Here are the best practices for how to divide the estate.

How Do I Find An Estate Planning Attorney In My Area?
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What is a better starting place than advertisements and phone directories?

How To List A Charity As Your Beneficiary
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There is a tax benefit to leaving some assets to your favorite charity rather than leaving it to your heirs.

Mailbox: How Can I Leave My Estate To A Charity?
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Leaving a legacy can be a great benefit for the charity receiving the gift.

Lifetime Exclusion From Gift Or Estate Taxes
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When you die, your assets and belongings–called your “estate”–are subject to taxation, but the there is an amount under which the executor of your estate will not have to pay taxes.

Annual Exclusion From Gift Taxes
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There is a limit, or exclusion–an amount that the government will allow you to gift to a person per year, without incurring tax consequences.

Myth: A Will Determines How Your Assets Are Distributed When You Die
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It is a common assumption that your last will and testament determines who gets your stuff when you die. What you may not know is the vast majority of your assets may be transferred to others regardless of the instructions in your will.

Estate Planning is More Than Just a Will: 3 Essential Documents You Should Have
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A good estate plan is every bit as useful during your lifetime as it is at your death. No matter your age or how much (or how little) money you have, there are three essential estate planning documents you should have.

Estate Planning
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The most important product of estate planning is achieving family harmony.

Who Gets Your Stuff When You Die Without a Will?
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It can be tricky to figure out who your “next of kin” is, so here’s a handy flowchart to help you figure out who gets everything you leave behind if you don’t have a will.

Beneficiary Designations: Per Capita or Per Stirpes?
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Before a grandmother passes away, both her sons predecease her. Left with only her daughter and grandchildren, depending on her titling one of three things may happen.

Should We Hate the Richest Kids in the Graveyard?
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“They don’t deserve it!” is the most common complaint. And in most cases it’s true

Should Planners Bypass The Bypass Trust?
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The new unified credit changes for estate planning in 2013 have once again changed when you should have provisions for a bypass trust.

Naming A Foreign 401(k) Beneficiary? ($ ?s)
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You should have no problem naming your nephew as your beneficiary, but accessing the money from India after your death is more complicated.

Giving Gifts to the Wrong Beneficiaries–Mistake #5
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Knowing which assets to give away to your beneficiaries can save your estate and your beneficiaries big tax bills, even if you have a small net worth. If you plan on making a gift to charity from your estate, you can be even more tax savvy with your giving.

Failing to Implement the Estate Plan–Mistake #6
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One of the most common estate planning mistakes is a plan that is implemented incorrectly. Your estate plan is only worth the paper it is printed on unless you follow through on titling your assets correctly and updating your beneficiary designations.

Creating Multiple Probate Estates–Mistake #4
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If you own real estate in different states, you may be leaving a mess of nightmarish proportions for your executor (the person who oversees and distributes your assets when you die). Here’s how to reduce the headache.

Failing to Name Beneficiaries on Retirement Accounts and Insurance Policies–Mistake #3
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It may surprise you that proceeds from retirement accounts and insurance policies are not divided according to the terms in your will. Instead, these assets pass directly to the beneficiaries you named on the account.

Assuming a Will is All You Need–Mistake #2
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No matter your age, in addition to a will, you need two additional documents.

Not Having an Estate Plan–Mistake #1
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The worst thing you can do is to do nothing at all and assume everything will pan out in the end. No matter how much (or how little) money you have, you need at least a simple will.

Five Wishes For End Of Life Care
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Five Wishes is a national advance directive created by the non-profit organization Aging with Dignity. It has been described as the “living will with a heart and soul.”

Your Parents’ Estate Plan Part 2: What You Need to Know
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A thoughtful estate plan can make your heirs’ lives easier. But it is your parents’ estate planning that will make your life easier.

Your Parents’ Estate Plan Part 1: Why You Need to Know
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Your estate plan can make your heirs’ lives easier. But it is your parents’ estate planning that will make your life easier.

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