|Posted by Susan Grissom on January 21, 2013 at 8:25 AM|
Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions this year? Statistics show that most people do not keep the New Year’s Resolutions they make. Perhaps this is because we make too many resolutions or the resolutions we make are unrealistic in the time and energy required to meet them.
One resolution that each couple/individual should consider making that has the potential of providing great benefit long term to loved ones is the review, update, or execution of an estate plan to include a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, and Healthcare Directive.
If in reviewing your current plan, you determine that your plan is not current, insufficiently providees for your family, or you have not prepared a plan, you should visit an attorney to discuss revision or creation of your Will. At Grissom Law, we will always meet with you to review your circumstances and recommend a plan to best address your individual circumstances. Call us today at (678)781-9230 or email us at email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
|Posted by Susan Grissom on July 17, 2012 at 11:40 AM|
Many people call my office and the first question they ask is, “What is the cost of drafting a Will?” There is no easy answer to this question because Wills and Estate Plans are not One Size Fits All.
Your Will and Estate Plan should be customized to your family and circumstances. When we work with you on your Will and Estate Plan, we will collect information about:
We will ask questions and listen to understand your family dynamics and how you wish to leave your property. We will also answer your questions. Based on our conversation, you will be provided options that address your needs and wishes, and we will explain the differences in the options provided to help you make an informed decision.
The options we discuss might include a simple Will, a Complex Will with a Testamentary Trust and/or Bypass Trust, a Pour-over Will with a Revocable Living Trust, or one of these options with an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust, to name a few. We will almost always recommend a Financial Power of Attorney and an Advanced Healthcare Directive as well.
There are many different options available and at Grissom Law, LLC, we will always meet with you to review your circumstances and recommend a plan to best address your needs. Call us today at (678-781-9230 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
|Posted by Susan Grissom on April 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM|
Are you putting off writing or updating your Will because you are not sure who to name as Guardian for your children? Frequently I talk with someone who says they have not completed their Will because they are unsure who they should name as Guardian. During the course of our meetings, we work together to review and discuss the family members and friends who might serve as Guardian and to identify the best choice for Guardian and one or more alternatives.
If you have delayed completing a Will for this reason, call Grissom Law and we will work with you to discuss your situation and to identify family or friends who can serve as Guardians to your children. At Grissom Law, LLC, we will always meet with you to review your circumstances and recommend a plan to best address your needs. Call us today at (678-781-9230 or email us at email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
|Posted by Susan Grissom on September 7, 2011 at 3:50 PM|
I am asked often, how often should I update my Will? There is no single answer to this question; however, the following are examples of events that would likely cause your Will to need to be updated.
Any of the above events have occurred, you should visit an attorney to review your Will and determine if a complete rewrite is needed or if a Codicil is appropriate. At Grissom Law, LLC, we will always meet with you to review your current Will and circumstances and recommend a plan to best address your individual circumstances. Call us today at (678)781-9230 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
|Posted by Susan Grissom on July 5, 2011 at 1:00 PM|
A Trust is a relationship where property is managed by one person, a Trustee, for the benefit of another, a Beneficiary. A Trust is governed by its Terms, typically a written document, the Trust Agreement, which establishes the rules under which the Trust is managed and under which distributions are made from the Trust. The trustee is obliged to administer the trust in accordance with both the terms of the trust document and the governing law.
The person who creates a Trust is the Settlor. The Settlor entrusts some or all of their property to a Trustee of their choosing. The Settlor is also known as trustor, grantor, donor or creator.
The Trustee(s) are the person, entity, or organization that holds legal title to the trust property, but are obliged to hold the property for the benefit of one or more individuals or organizations, usually specified by the settlor. The trustees owe a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries and are responsible for investing the Trust Corpus (trust property – can be real, tangible or intangible), filing tax returns, managing the Trust account(s), and managing distribution of Trust assets.
The Beneficiary (s) is the person or persons for whose benefit the trust is established. The Beneficiary holds equitable title to the trust corpus. The Trustee makes distributions to the Beneficiary or for the Beneficiary from the Trust Corpus as specified in the Trust Terms.
Trusts can be Inter Vivos, created during the lifetime of the Settlor, or Testamentary, created by a Will.
Common uses for Inter Vivos trusts are to provide privacy and avoid probate, asset protection from creditors, asset management, and life insurance trusts that remove life insurance from the taxable estate, as well as, providing control of assets beyond the grave. Testamentary trusts are commonly used to protect the estate tax exemption of the first spouse to die, to assure assets stay within the family, to provide management of family assets for the benefit of young children, teens, and young adults, and to protect government benefits through the use of Special Needs or Supplemental Trusts.
Trusts should be considered as a part of any estate plan where young families are involved or estates greater than $2 Million Dollars are involved. The effective use of Trusts can reduce estate taxes and provide assurance the funds will be managed and available per the Settlor’s wishes.
|Posted by Susan Grissom on April 24, 2011 at 10:35 PM|
The TAX RELIEF, UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE REAUTHORIZATION, AND JOB CREATION ACT OF 2010 (H.R. 4853) was signed into law December 17, 2010 becoming Public Law 111-312. H.R. 4853 sets the exemption level for gift, estate and generation skipping tax (GST) at $5 million per individual or $10 million per couple for 2011 and 2012. In addition, H.R. 4853 reduced the maximum tax rate to 35 percent for 2011 and 2012.
This is a temporary fix once again. Congress must act by January 1, 2013 or the rates will revert to a $1 million (adjusted for inflation) per individual exemption for gift, estate, and GST taxes and the tax rates will increase to a top rate of 55 percent.
An estate plan should be reviewed to determine if it protects your family and takes advantage of all opportunities to reduce taxes after any significant changes to Estate Tax laws as well as following any significant life event.
Call or email to schedule your complementary appointment to review your plan.
|Posted by Susan Grissom on January 5, 2011 at 2:00 PM|
Have you considered including the review of your Estate Plan a part of your New Year's resolutions? If not, consider adding it to your list of goals for this year.
The review of your Estate Plan should include verifying that you have the basic estate planning documents in place and that they are valid and still make sense for your family.
When reviewing your Estate Plan, consider the following questions regarding your Will:
For your Power of Attorney:
For your Advanced Healthcare Directive (Living Will/Durable Healthcare Directive):