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This is a very rudimentary guide with some things to think about.
Estate planning is deciding how to manage a persons assets during their life so they needs can be meet as they age and so their assets can be passed on at their death with a minimum of administrative problems and avoiding loosing assets to taxes.
As you develop your estate plan, you’ll want to keep in mind how to:
Estate planning involves the will, trusts, beneficiary designations, powers of appointment, property ownership (joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety), gift, and powers of attorney, specifically the durable financial power of attorney and the durable medical power of attorney.
The Legal Documents section that was here has moved to a separate page. (legal-documents.html)
One of the most important things to do is make sure your beneficiaries are specified in your IRA. That will allow them to continue tax deferred distributions.
If you don't specify beneficiaries or the forms are lost your estate must cash in the IRA within 5 years.
You can name a trust as a beneficiary to give you more control. e.g. specify that children from a previous marriage will get the IRA after your current spouse dies.
Dealing with estate taxes is one of the main purposes of estate planning.
The value of an estate typically consists of both the decedent's separate property and one-half of his or her community property.
Federal Estate Tax:
1987-2001 55% of excess over $3 million 2002 50% of exces over $2.5 million 2003 49% of exces over $2 million 2004 48% of exces over $2 million 2005 47% of exces over $2 million 2006 46% of exces over $2 million 2007-2008 45% of exces over $2 million 2009 45% of exces over $3.5 million 2010 35% of excess over $5 million 2012 35% of excess over $5.12 million 2011- 40% of excess over $5.1 million adjusted for inflation since 2012A spouse can inherit your estate without any estate tax.
Trump wants to repeal the federal estate tax, while Hillary Clinton wants to make it more broadly applicable by lowering the exemption to $3.5 million and a top rate of 45%. $3.5 M would only affect 0.2% of estates.
State Estate Tax:
An estate of $1,000,000 would pay $33,200 in estate tax.
Six states had an inheritance tax as of 2015: Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Iowa and Nebraska and two of them—Maryland and New Jersey—collect an estate tax as well.
Plan Your Estate: Denis Clifford: