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Trusts Archives

How to use a living trust to the fullest

Ohio residents and others may make use of a living trust as part of an estate plan. A living trust allows individuals and married couples to retain control of assets while keeping them outside of an estate. By keeping assets outside of an estate, it allows that property to avoid probate. Instead, a successor trustee will assume management of the trust in accordance with how it is written.

New tax act raises gift exemptions to individuals and trusts

The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has opened up new opportunities for people in Ohio who wish to transfer wealth. Starting in 2018, the exemptions for federal gift and estate taxes have been doubled. An individual can give tax-free gifts up to $11,180,000, and a married couple can give away as much as $22,360,000 without inflicting income tax on the recipients.

Revising an estate plan based on new tax rules

Some people in Ohio might want to review their estate planning because there has been a change in the estate tax exemption. The exemption has been changed to more than $11 million for individuals and $22 million for couples. Therefore, people who have made provisions in an estate plan to avoid this tax might want to revisit that plan to simply allow the entire estate to go to a surviving spouse.

Blended families and estate plan disputes

The likelihood of a dispute over a person's estate plan in Ohio may be higher if the family is a blended one involving stepparents and stepchildren. This is particularly true with stepmothers, largely because women tend to outlive men. The problem is not with stepmothers in particular but with the family tensions that can be exacerbated during times of stress and grief. Studies show that only 20 percent of stepmothers and stepchildren feel close to one another, and the distance in these relationships rarely closes.

Estate planning can entail more than just a will

People in Ohio dealing with end-of-life challenges for a loved one may be brought face-to-face with the complicated realities of estate planning and the consequences that can happen due to a lack of advance planning. Estate planning can involve more than the creation of a will. There can be a number of documents that are part of a comprehensive plan for health care and other later-in-life needs that can prevent significant problems further down the road.

DAPTs offer various estate planning benefits

Estate holders in Ohio may be familiar with domestic asset protection trusts, commonly known as DAPTs. These planning tools do just what their name implies -- protect the assets contained in trusts. They are used most often in estate planning, allowing those managing their assets to avoid probate for their heirs and other beneficiaries. However, DAPTs are useful for much more than this, according to experts in wealth management.

Estate planning is for everyone

Many people living in Ohio believe that they do not need an estate plan yet. They might think this because they are relatively young and healthy or because they have few assets and don't see any reason to designate what happens to these assets after they die.

About special needs trusts

Ohio residents who have loved ones with disabilities have many options when it comes to ensuring that their long-term care and financial needs are met. A special needs trust is one estate planning tool they can use. The funds set aside in a special needs trust can be used to address certain needs that are not covered by Security Supplemental Income or Medicaid.

Why trusts may help to pass and shield assets

Some Ohio residents put off estate planning because they find the process confusing. Others may think that their estates are not large enough to worry about estate planning. It is important for people to think about how their assets will be transferred once they die, however. With planning, people may help to prevent potential family fights, tax consequences and other problems that might happen.

How an estate plan may be changed by divorce

For Ohio residents who are going through a divorce, making changes to their estate plan might be one step in the process. If a person dies before these changes are made, the former spouse could get most of that person's assets, or additional paperwork could be necessary. In one case, a man died while honeymooning with his second wife. Although he and his previous wife had made an agreement about how their retirement plans would be divided, they did not complete the paperwork. As a result, new orders had to be drawn up.

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