In June, actor James Gandolfini died in Italy while on vacation with his family. The actor was best known for his role as Tony Soprano in the HBO show “The Sopranos.” His success as an actor allowed him to leave behind a sizable estate, worth an estimated $70 million or more. Unfortunately, though Mr. Gandolfini had created an estate plan, he also apparently made some serious estate planning … [Read more...] about James Gandolfini, Michael Jackson, and Learning From Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes
One of the easiest ways people can minimize their estate tax burden is to create a gift strategy. Though easy to do, creating a gift strategy is one of the more underutilized estate planning tools available to many families. Your attorney will be able to help you create a gift plan that fits your individual circumstances, but here are some tips to keep in mind. Tip 1: Use pre-existing … [Read more...] about Creating an Active Gift Plan: 3 Practical Tips
Congress has, for the time being, managed to steer the country away from the fiscal cliff. But the deal that was reached in order to avoid the cliff has caused some confusion in the world of estate planning; specifically, the portions of the deal that have to do with taxes. This confusion is understandable, given the amount of partisan rancor that had been bandied about in the days leading up to … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Issues in the Wake of the Fiscal Cliff Deal
Before we discuss what happens to payable on death accounts following someone’s passing, let’s define what this process is. A payable on death (POD) account is an instrument that is designed by banks and credit unions. They provide a form for account holders to fill out in order to list beneficiaries who will receive funds upon their passing. These funds are transferred immediately when a death … [Read more...] about What Happens to Payable on Death Accounts Following Someone’s Passing?
Before we begin, let’s talk about what a pay on death account is (otherwise referred to as POD). These don’t need to be just checking or savings accounts, mind you; they can also be retirement plans, stocks, bonds, securities and pensions. These designated accounts act as a probate avoidance tool. It is simple to set up pay on death accounts. In most cases, all you have to do is fill out a form … [Read more...] about How to Set up Pay on Death Accounts