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.
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.
If there is one type of law which is complicated beyond reason it is financial and real estate law. With not only regulations and rules changing every year but also the financial details themselves changing daily, it is a wonder anyone can even get a fair deal. It is important to understand that the banks and lenders’ jobs are not to get you a good deal. Their sole purpose is to get a favorable agreement for the bank. This oftentimes means a far less favorable deal for you.
Navigating Confusing Legal Language
Legal speak is always difficult to wade through. However, when it is mixed in with countless financial facts, percentages, and numbers, it can be downright indecipherable. This is where you need a trained legal expert who specializes in this type of law. It is the only way you are going to get someone to explain this complex legal dialogue to you. How can you expect to make the best decision if you don’t have all of the information?
Dealing With Complex Financial Details
Each of those numbers and decimals and percentages all mean something in this type of law. They represent interest rates, variations, length of term, monthly payments and so on. Each one of these and many other specifics all need to be documented properly and verified. Also, the fine print and details of any contract should never be ignored, especially on real estate.
These details may be the difference between a balloon payment and flat final payment. They may also list an incorrect detail such as an adjustable rate instead of a fixed rate. There are a number of examples of what a real estate lawyer might catch that you would miss.
Let the team here at Bell & Shah lookout for you during your next home purchase or sale. With everything from price to rate to term on the line, you need to make sure you get the best deal. We’d be glad to be the ones to safeguard your interests in any real estate transaction. Simply get in contact with us to find out more details!
If you are in the market to purchase or sell a property, even if you have done it before, the process can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and downright confusing. Sure, it is exciting as well, but the truth is that you need to be confident in making the best decision possible. Most homeowners and future homeowners don’t know the ins and outs of real estate law or expectations.
It is imperative that you find a team of professionals who can give you the information you need while expertly guiding you through the process. While most people know to include a Realtor on their team, too many forget the importance of partnering with an attorney. It is incredibly beneficial to have a real estate attorney to guide you through the process.
Benefits to Sellers
A real estate attorney is there to protect your best interests and make sure all bases are covered as you sell your home or property. It is easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out during the sale of your property, but having the right real estate attorney on your side can help ease this burden and get you to closing quickly. For sellers, the real estate attorney is there to make sure all necessary paperwork is in order, from signing the contract to closing. They ensure the selling process runs smoothly with no surprises. If there are surprises, your attorney will guide you through it and provide advice that puts your interests at the forefront.
Benefits to Buyers
Oftentimes, buyers carry the brunt of the work in the home buying process. A real estate attorney is there to protect one of the most important, and expensive, purchases of your life. They are responsible for ensuring all documents are in order, and that title searches and transfer of funds are completed correctly. They can also help during the inspection process, should there be any issues. Further, having experienced legal representation at closing can help ease your mind that your purchase will be done correctly and in a timely manner.
A real estate attorney is a definite asset for both buyers and sellers. At the end of the day, if something goes wrong on either end, you have a professional ready to take care of any problems and get the process back on track.
If you are finding yourself looking to buy or sell make sure to give the experienced professionals at Bell & Shah a call. They are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have to get the process started the right way.
Life as we know it has taken quite an unexpected turn due to the coronavirus pandemic. All aspects of daily life have been affected in one way or another, including the ability to buy or sell a home. Fortunately, the real estate market has seen tough times before and, in some ways, has been better prepared for this than many other businesses.
National vs. Local Market
While some areas have been hit quite hard by this pandemic, the local market seems to be adjusting quite well. In Illinois, real estate has been classified as an essential business, but otherwise, normal business operations have changed immensely.
Once known as a very hands-on, face to face, profession, the market has shifted to contactless video tours and drive-by showings. However, local realtors are still optimistic that once the stay at home order has been, lifted things will quickly return to normal.
Even though Chicago based realtors have seen the number of homes available to sellers decrease, they have also noted that motivated buyers are taking advantage of low-interest rates to get the dream home they may not have had the opportunity to get before. Not every city is as lucky as Chicago though, as New York City is struggling to get any sort of transaction going. Since most of the real estate in New York City are apartments and condos it has been virtually impossible to have any kind of showings. To complicate matters further, most virtual showings must rely on previously shot footage that wasn’t necessarily meant for that purpose, which doesn’t give the best impression of the property for sale. To make things worse, some buildings will not allow brokers or buyers into the property for any reason. This has made any transaction incredibly difficult.
Buying and Selling During Questionable Times
It’s no secret that purchasing a home is a huge undertaking in the most normal of times. While there is always the chance for some surprises during your purchase or sale, no one could have predicted this global pandemic.
Just before this pandemic hit, many buyers and sellers were merely days away from closing. Unfortunately, they learned later their closing fell through due to changing mortgage rates and complications. Some lenders have gone out of business due to the pandemic as well, leaving buyers and sellers in limbo with no option but to cancel or start the process all over again.
The uncertainty of what the future may hold is scaring off many buyers as well. With unemployment at an all-time high, it is difficult to be confident that your job is secure enough to get a mortgage. This has also put sellers in a hard position not knowing if it is worth it to keep the house on the market or wait until things improve.
While things may seem grim, the silver lining is that the real estate market has been hit before and bounced back. The same will be true this time around. Buyer and seller confidence will continue to increase over time. Real estate has always been about patience and timing, two things we all have plenty of these days.
If you find yourself in the market to buy or sell do not hesitate to reach out to the professionals at Bell & Shah for any questions or concerns you may have. We are here to advocate for your during the process.