George H.W. Bush (1924-2018) 41st President of the United States, 1989-1993 Political Life In the words of President Harry Truman and President Ronald Reagan, "There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit.” President George H.W. Bush embodied these words. In his early life, H.W. became one of the youngest aviators in the Navy, graduated from Yale University, and reached millionaire status all before the age of 40. As the President of the … [Read more...] about Famous Estates-Champ or Chump? George H.W. Bush
wills & trusts
As a domicile of Texas, you may be able to rely on the state’s probate laws to a limited extent should you divorce. Almost all estate planning lawyers will recommend periodic reviews of estate planning documents. Your estate planning attorney will most likely ask you to review your estate plan during or after important life-changing events. One of these events is divorce. At least one time after your divorce, you should sit down with your estate planning attorney to review your estate plan. … [Read more...] about Divorce and Previously Drafted Wills in Texas
New IRS regulations make leaving money to charity in a Will or Trust a little bit more complicated. The Will or Trust now needs to detail the source of the money that is to be used for charitable purposes. To qualify as non-taxable, that income source must have an independent economic effect, which basically means that the contribution cannot merely be to avoid paying income tax on the money. The reason for the new rule is because of Charitable Lead Trusts. These are instruments that people … [Read more...] about New IRS Regulations on Charitable Bequests
Everyone needs a Will. Even if you do not have a significant financial portfolio, you should have a Will. In fact, a Will might be even more important for people with fewer financial resources. Wealthy people can use all sorts of advanced estate planning tools, but people with more limited resources generally can only use a Will. A Will is your chance to tell people what should happen to the property that you have after you pass away. Even if you do not have any financial assets, you need a … [Read more...] about Poor People Need Wills Too
Elderly residents should be wary of high-pressure tactics from overbearing salespeople who pressure them into giving them your financial information. Be wary of con artists throwing around probate law terms like “executors.” You should always be suspicious of claims from scam companies promising that you can significantly reduce your estate taxes by creating living trusts. A written will can also help you reduce your taxes and are often less expensive to create. Promises that a living trust will … [Read more...] about Elderly Residents Warned of Living Trust Scams: Part 3 of 3
Who have you chosen to serve as executor of your estate? And are you confident that the person you’ve selected is the right fit? Making sure the right person is in charge of your estate can go a long way toward avoiding a probate mess. A recent Reuters Wealth blog puts the spotlight on a daughter who had an unpleasant experience with her father’s executor, and gives some good advice on how to choose the right executor for your estate: Know Your Estate. If settling your estate will be a rather … [Read more...] about The First Step in Avoiding a Probate Mess
Depending on your situation, a living trust can be a valuable – even essential – estate planning tool. But as useful as a living trust can be, there are limits to what it can do. For example: Probate Avoidance Isn’t Automatic One of the main benefits of a living trust is that it can help you avoid probate. But simply drawing up and signing a trust doesn’t automatically ensure probate avoidance. Instead, you need to transfer into the trust any property that would otherwise be subject to the … [Read more...] about The Limits of a Living Trust
Your IRA allows you to designate one or more beneficiaries to receive your account funds in the event of your death, so why would you want to go one step further and create an IRA trust? There are a couple of reasons why you might opt to include this tool in your estate plan. First, a brief overview of how an IRA trust works: it’s a revocable trust that you establish, naming the trustee as beneficiary of your IRA. When you pass away, the balance of your IRA will pass to your trustee, who will … [Read more...] about Why an IRA Trust?
One of your goals in making an estate plan is ensuring that your property makes its way into the hands of the right people when you pass away. To this end, you most likely have in mind the names of the people you’ll name as beneficiaries in your Will or Living Trust. However, for each beneficiary you name, you’ll also want to name an alternate beneficiary. Why Name Alternates? In case your primary beneficiary passes away before you do (and you haven’t had a chance to update your estate plan), … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Tip: Name Alternate Beneficiaries
In order for a will to be valid, certain legal requirements need to be met. One of these requirements is that the person making the will, known as the testator, has to have testamentary capacity, or the legal capacity to make a will. In Texas, testamentary capacity comes with two components. First, you must be: 18 or older, Currently or formerly lawfully married, or A member of the U.S. armed forces. You also must be of sound mind. This means that at the time you make your will, you have … [Read more...] about What is Testamentary Capacity?