Marital Trusts, Estate Tax Issues, and Blended Families

We’ve discussed why an estate might need to file an estate tax return even if the estate doesn’t owe any tax in a previous post. And that recommendation still holds. But let’s look at another way an estate plan would need to utilize the IRS rules for the benefit of a person’s beneficiaries.

A standard tool for planning for families as the Marital or AB Trust. Essentially, a married couple creates each of their wills with provisions for 2 trusts to be created at the death of one of the spouses, the A Trust and the B Trust. The A and B Trusts have differing rules and guidelines, as well as different methods of funding and different goals, in an effort to maximize the use of the estate tax exemption for a married couple.

Continue reading

Medical Power of Attorney – An Estate Planning Necessity

In a previous post, I wrote about Powers of Attorney, their uses regarding your finances, and my recommendations to client regarding those docs. Now I’m going to address Medical Powers, the flip side of the same coin, which allows someone to make medical decisions for you.

A Medical Power of Attorney (MPoA) lets you pick someone whom you trust completely to make medical decision for you if you are in a position where you can’t. Continue reading

Power of Attorney – Your Best Friend (and Worst Enemy) Part 1

Sorry for the absence, but I figure it just makes your heart grow fonder.

One of the most essential estate planning tools available is the Power of Attorney. In fact, in my practice, I recommend 2 different PoAs for my estate clients: 1) a Durable Power of Attorney and 2) a Medical Power of Attorney. These are two separate documents, with two very different goals.

Continue reading