Benefits of Setting up a Trust for Your Family

Benefits of Setting up a Trust for Your Family

A family trust is any legal trust that you set up for the benefit of your family members, and is commonly used nowadays in estate planning. You know your family best, and a family trust allows you to personalize the way you provide for them, both during your lifetime and thereafter.

Benefits of a Family Trust

A trust may be used to manage estate taxes, protect assets from creditors, and transfer wealth to succeeding generations. A family trust is a particular kind of trust that families can use to construct a financial legacy for the future. Among the numerous benefits of creating a trust for your family are the following: It allows you to (1) place conditions on how and when your assets are disseminated after your death; (2) reduce the amount of taxes associated with your estate; (3) efficiently allocate assets to your heirs without incurring the cost, delay, andpublicity related to probate court; and (4) better protect your assets from creditors and legal action.

 

Creating a Family Trust Requires Legal Know-how

If you’ve been considering creating a family trust, it’s important to understand that the process can be complicated to execute, so the assistance of an experienced lawyer who specializes in estate planning is essential. The attorneys of Bell Shah Law, LLC, provide clients with personalized support in all areas of their practice. And this approach is also essential to the process of creating a family trust. We ascertain our clients’ special needs and gauge the impact of estate taxes on families and beneficiaries. Then we convey the timeline for crafting the trust and guide them through the occasionally complex process.

Most clients contact us to draft a simple will. We secure the information necessary to generate the documents you need. And if estate taxes, probate or transfer of assets are a concern, we can formulate a family trust to safeguard your finances and property.

Call 773-635-0355 or visit Bellshah.com today to get the skilled, knowledgeable, and thoughtful counsel you need to set up your family trust. We look forward to hearing from you.

How to Leave Your Kids and Grandkids Money for the Future

How to Leave Your Kids and Grandkids Money for the Future

Bell & Shah Law, LLC understands the nuances of estate planning. Leaving your hard-earned assets to your loved ones does not have to be complicated. We can assist in protecting finances that can be subjected to taxation providing the maximum value for your children and grandchildren. There are some things to consider leaving assets to your children or grandchildren.

There is a generation skipping tax in addition to estate and gift taxes. A generation skipping trust can negate this tax. Paying for education can help some tax liability. There are a few account types to do this. A 529 plan, Uniform Gifts to Minors Act, and Uniform Transfers to Minors act. Our attorneys can help select the best plan for you and your family.

What are the circumstances?

You will have to analyze this to figure out where to start. What does your family need and does one person need more assistance than another? The recipient needs evaluated as well. How young is the person? Leaving a substantial amount to a young adult may have the opposite effect you intend. Consider a trust to set conditions for the assets to be released.

Talk with your children or grandchildren.

Adapt the plan to your, and your beneficiaries, circumstance. Inform them as to how the money should be used whether for housing, or education, or a vehicle for example. If they know you want them to use the funds productively and you are sure they will consider gifting money. You can gift up to $15,000 per year per person. This is the IRS take on gifting money.

Is there a retirement plan?

If the children or grandchildren are listed as beneficiaries, they receive required minimum distributions soon after your death and will be required to pay taxes on this money. IRAs do not have conditions for naming grandchildren as beneficiaries there are options.

Who distributes the assets?

Planning for our death is not pleasant. When we have finances or property that need to be distributed it is important to cover all the bases and ensure the least amount of stress to our loved ones. An unfortunate truth is these things can cause problems among your surviving relatives. Bell & Shah Law, LLC help you create a plan with a focus on your grandchildren or children so they can focus on healthy coping.

Things to Never Overlook When Creating Your Estate Plan

Things to Never Overlook When Creating Your Estate Plan

Even young people should consider how to handle their assets after a life changing event. Your estate includes vehicles, homes, and anything of value. But it is also for life changing events.

Estate planning is one of the most important things you can do for your family.

When you factor in a potential retirement account, life insurance, and bank accounts the importance of creating a proper plan is clear. Poor preparation leads to poor performance as the saying goes.

To say that real estate attorneys work hard is an understatement.

There are few things to accomplish before and when you meet with an estate attorney. This will expedite the process and ensure your investments are protected after serious injury or death.

Life insurance

  • This can provide an income replacement for loved ones, help expenses related to terminal illness, and pay for estate taxes.

Finances

  • You will need bank statements and brokerage statements. Make a list of insurance policies and debt.

Inventory

  • This is a list of everything of value. Figuring out how much stuff you have is step one in protecting it. This is the value of your home, cars, jewelry, and other material things of value.

Power of attorneys

  • Medical power attorney will make healthcare decisions. Financial power of attorneys decides what happens with retirement and bank accounts.

Living Will

  • This is where you decide how your assets are distributed to your loved ones. Provide instruction for debt, fees, family living expenses, and other affairs.

Trust

  • If you need to manage assets for a dependent, reduce estate tax, or reduce delay in distribution of assets and a trust can hold all your assets decide if you need a trust.

Update

  • Life changing events like marriage or childbirth, home buying, or other large purchase should be added into your plan.

 

An experienced and dedicated estate planning attorney can assist with the most important plan of your life. When you plan for your future you should plan for the whole thing. We understand what goes into planning. Call us at Bell & Shah Law, LLC today.

Tips to Minimize Estate Taxes for Your Family While Estate Planning

Tips to Minimize Estate Taxes for Your Family While Estate Planning

One of the biggest unwelcome surprises your heirs may face is the amount of estate taxes they must pay to the federal government. While most estates do fall beneath the threshold for estate taxes and are, therefore, exempt, that may not be the case with yours if you have a large amount of assets. If you do, there are a few things you can do to minimize the amount of estate tax your family will have to pay.

Create Trusts

Trusts have a number of benefits, including tax benefits. By placing some of your assets in trusts, your heirs can make use of them without paying as much estate tax. In some cases, the trust may even eliminate all of the estate taxes on the assets they hold. Trusts have a number of other benefits as well, making them well worth your time to learn about and consider using. For example, you could create a trust that is specifically for your grandchildren to use for college. You could also leave behind a trust for a disabled child that pays out a specific amount every month so they always have some income.

You can leave trusts to others outside of your family, too. One way of reducing your estate tax burden is to create a charitable trust. By leaving assets to a tax-exempt charity, you lower the overall value of your estate. This could put you under the limit for being taxed. The charity, because it is tax-exempt, wouldn’t have to pay taxes on the assets in the trust, either. You can also use trusts to reduce your overall capital gains tax and other taxes.

Spend Your Money

Of course, the easiest way of ensuring your estate is exempt from estate taxes is to spend some of your assets. This lowers the overall value of your estate, so you may be able to get it under the taxation threshold. One thing to keep in mind, however, is to make certain you’re not spending too much. You still need to ensure you have enough assets to live comfortably through your golden years. You may have plans to travel or purchase a vacation home, and you want to be able to do so without worrying about money.

Need help creating a trust or otherwise protecting your heirs from a high estate tax burden? The team at Bell & Shah Lawcan help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Who Can You Trust To Handle Something as Important as Your Final Wishes?

Who Can You Trust To Handle Something as Important as Your Final Wishes?

There aren’t very many topics as unpleasant as discussing one’s own demise. However, that doesn’t make it any less necessary. It is the responsibility of anyone who has even modest assets and portfolios that will need distributing to see to it that a qualified expert handles it once they are gone. It is also the caring thing to do for your family and friends who will be grieving.

What Happens if You Are Incapacitated?

It isn’t always death that brings about the need for estate management. Even if it isn’t your final will and testament but rather just power of attorney following an accident or major health event, planning foe these legal situations before they can even arise will give you and your family peace of mind.

What Happens if You Pass Away?

Although not all estate matters come about as the result of death, most of them do. Regardless of how healthy our lifestyles are or how often we see the doctor, everyone will pass away. It is during these times that our family and loved ones suffer the most. Therefore, it only makes sense that you would want to take care of all of the loose ends that you could before that day comes.

Leaving Your Personal and Business Interests Cared For

One of the most unfortunate but not all that uncommon results following someone’s death is family conflict. This sad truth happens time and time again, especially when there are still financial details to complete. Sometimes during periods of trauma and stress, people who love each other can lash out as a coping mechanism.

However, this can lead to much more damaging and long-term issues. With one simple estate plan you can make sure that your family never has to take on the added burden of tending to your wishes in addition to having to mourn your loss.

The experienced and caring attorneys at Bell Shah Law know exactly how to handle the issues that come after someone’s passing. Your family and business associates certainly deserve no less. Give us a call today to discuss the details.

How to Choose Your Durable Power of Attorney Agent

How to Choose Your Durable Power of Attorney Agent

Completing advance directives is a responsible part of building your estate plan. Not only do you have the opportunity to dictate what matters to you at the end of life, completing certain tasks can give you control over who advocates or speaks for you in cases when you cannot. You are never too young to choose a Power of Attorney for your health or for your financial needs. These designations are crucial to assuring that your wishes are carried out even if you are unable to make them happen.

What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney form gives you the change to designate an Agent, or person who will make decisions on your behalf when you can no longer do so. You can choose an Agent for financial matters and an Agent for health care matters, and that Agent does not need to be the same for both duties.

There are different types of Power of Attorney documents that determine when the duties begin. Work with your lawyer at Bell Shah Law to determine which may be best for your situation.

Choosing Your Agent
Choosing a Power of Attorney Agent is an important decision and one that you should take time in deciding. While many people choose a child or children for the roles, others choose a partner, family member, or trusted friend to complete the duties. In any case, you should be sure that the Agent knows you well, and that you can count on them to make decisions based on your wishes, even when those wishes may differ from their own.

While you can choose to have an Agent that does both financial and health care duties, you may consider splitting the responsibility between two people. If that option works for you, it can give the Agents relief in making every decision along every facet of your life.

Talking to Your Agent
Before you come into the office to declare your Power of Attorney Agent choices, be sure you talk to the potential Agent first. This is a big responsibility and while most people see the role of Agent as an honor, some people can see being named an Agent as overwhelming or stressful. Assure your potential Agent understands the role and then set specific times to talk about your wishes together. While these conversations aren’t always comfortable ones, it is imperative that you get your wishes out there for your Agent to hear and acknowledge.

Are you ready to complete your Power of Attorney forms, or do you have questions about the process? We would love to help; our attorneys have years of experience drawing up estate plans for clients of all ages and situations. Give us a call to get started today.

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