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Estate Planning

Jul 19, 2019 An irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) can provide peace of mind as you start your estate planning process. If you have a sizable estate or young beneficiaries, an ILIT can provide control over a life insurance policy that a last will and testament may not. The "irrevocable" part of that trust means that its creator, or grantor, can't amend it once it's set up. Such a trust has its benefits, but there are variable to consider before setting it in stone. Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 Dying may get you out of a lot of things, but not taxes. If you have a lot of property you want to leave to your children or other heirs, it may be subject to taxation. Federal estate taxes (and in a few states, state estate taxes) apply before your property is transferred. Some states also apply an inheritance tax, in which the beneficiary could also be taxed after the transfer is complete. Some people refer to estate and inheritance taxes as "death taxes." Here's what you need to know. Read More...

Jun 28, 2019 A trustee is the individual appointed to administer assets or property for the benefit of a third party. A trustee could be appointed for the purpose of bankruptcy, a charity or certain kinds of retirement plans, but the most common is a trust. A trust is a legal agreement designed to control how an individual leaves an estate to their heirs. Many people choose to create trusts to protect the interest of their beneficiaries. Also, trusts help them avoid the costs of probate or working with the courts to transfer wealth. The owner of the trust, known as the grantor, must appoint a trustee to administer their wishes outlined in the trust. While it may seem like an honor to take on the role of a trustee, it comes with significant responsibilities. We’ve broken down what a trustee is, their… Read More...

Jul 19, 2019 An irrevocable trust can maintain your wishes after you die, but it will cost you some flexibility. While a last will and testament requires a probate court process to distribute your assets to heirs, most trusts avoid probate. However, your lifestyle and personal preferences will dictate whether an irrevocable trust or a revocable trust is best suited to your needs. Read More...

Jun 26, 2019 Transfer on death (TOD) accounts can keep your estate planning intact while keeping your beneficiaries out of court. If you’re among the  57% of adults who don’t currently have a  will or  trust, your family is likely headed to probate court. Even estates with wills will likely need to go through  probate, which can burden your loved ones and create hostility between family members. A TOD account can avoid a legal mess by moving your assets without leaving them in your will. Read More...

May 29, 2019 By having a will in place when you pass away, you can detail how you want your affairs and assets to be handled. To ensure your will is valid, you'll need to crate a meticulous plan for how your possessions will be distributed once you pass. The sheer volume of possessions and assets you've accumulated during your life might make this seem rather daunting. Lucky for you, there are a number of websites that can help you get your will in order. Even if at the end of this you still have questions, perhaps you should contact a financial advisor. Read More...

May 08, 2019 Having a solid end-of-life plan in place can be a big help to you and your family when the time comes. In addition getting your financial affairs in order through the  estate planning process, it's also a good idea to set up medical power of attorney. This is a legal document - alternatively referred to as healthcare power of attorney or  durable power of attorney for healthcare - that approves an agent to make medical decisions on your behalf. Having this paperwork in place can give you peace of mind, even if you don’t think you’ll need it. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 A trust company is a legal entity that can serve as an agent or trustee on behalf of a trust.  They can be either stand-alone entities or divisions of commercial banks. If you're planning to use trusts as part of your estate planning process, a trust company can likely help by serving as trustee. They can also play a role in other aspects of your financial plan. Read More...

Apr 09, 2019 The process of planning your estate can be a long and complex one. You might need to create legal documents and entities including wills, trusts, power of attorney and more. That's why many people choose to work with a professional to guide them in the process. While a financial advisor can walk you through the basics of building a financial plan that takes care of your family, it's also a good idea to work with an estate planning attorney.  Read More...

Apr 04, 2019 In business, having the right people in leadership roles is arguably the most important factor for success. That means that when a top executive or star employee retires or leaves for another role, there needs to be a contingency plan in place to replace her quickly and seamlessly. This is akin to having a support network for your small business. Ideally, you'll be able to replace the departing employee with another employee who has the experience and institutional knowledge to step into the role. This process is known as succession planning. Read More...

Apr 23, 2019 Traditionally, the process of planning for the transfer of assets to your loved ones after your death is known as  estate planning. As you approach this process, you might also hear another term: Legacy planning. The terms are in many ways synonymous, with some financial professionals using the phrase as a "re-branding" of the more traditional terminology. However, some argue that legacy planning encompasses a greater breadth of planning and activities.  Read More...

Apr 01, 2019 A comprehensive  estate plan often includes writing a last will and testament to transfer your assets to your beneficiaries. Once you've passed away, the executor of your will shepherds the will through the probate process. However, you may have things you'd like to communicate to your loved ones and beneficiaries that you don't want to include in the will itself. Often, these are informal instructions that will help your executor carry out your wishes. It might also include such informal elements as opinions about your funeral, the values you'd like to be remembered for or just a sentimental message to loved ones. Read More...

Mar 28, 2019 Medical issues bring about plenty of tough decisions about what treatments you do and don't want performed. Because you may be incapacitated in these situations, many people prepare ahead of time by creating  advance health care directives to record their wishes. In six states, you can record your wishes regarding life-sustaining measures in a uniform format using a medical order for life-sustaining treatment (MOLST) form. Using the MOLST form makes it easier to be sure that you're recording everything properly and complying with all the laws of your state. That way, you can rest easy knowing there won't be any hiccups when the time comes. Read More...

Jul 19, 2019 Having an estate plan in place can offer reassurance that your assets will be managed according to your wishes, both during your lifetime and after you pass away. While many people think of wills as the centerpiece of an estate plan, wills can be contested and have to go through a lengthy probate process. Instead, many people will use a trust to transfer assets to their loved ones. Read More...

Mar 13, 2019 The executor of a will has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the estate. This means that the law prevents you from acting in your own interest to the detriment of the estate. As an extension of this duty, executors also have several responsibilities to the beneficiaries of the will. We'll go through the most notable responsibilities executors have, as well as what they don't have an obligation to do. Read More...

Mar 13, 2019 When most people think of executing a will, they might think only of delivering inherited assets to beneficiaries. However, there are actually several steps of the probate process that the executor must complete before transferring any assets. As a beneficiary, it's natural to wonder how long it will take before the process ends and you receive any inheritance coming your way. Read More...

Apr 15, 2019 Even if you die without a will or without naming an executor in your will, someone still has to take charge of managing and closing your estate. The person who assumes this role is typically called an administrator rather than an executor. Each state has a way of determining who should act as administrator, so if you would like to volunteer, you’ll have to operate within your state’s probate process. While the minute details of the process will differ between probate courts, the broad strokes of the process will be the same. Read More...

Mar 12, 2019 The executor of a will is in charge of making sure the wishes of the deceased are carried out, as well as handling the final affairs of the estate. The executor has authority from the county probate court to act in this role, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the executor has the final say on all decisions regarding the estate. Read More...

Mar 12, 2019 One of the most crucial aspects of estate planning is appointing people you trust to step in for you when you can't act for your self. Two of the most prominent of these roles are the executor of your estate and your agent with power of attorney. The two roles may be filled by the same person, but the roles themselves are very different.  Read More...

Mar 12, 2019 When it comes to planning your estate, choosing who to name as your executor is an important choice to make. Your executor has a range of duties, including paying your debts, navigating your estate through the probate court and distributing your assets to your heirs. It's a big job, so you may consider splitting the responsibilities by naming two co-executors. However, doing so may complicate things more than it helps, depending on your situation. We’ll discuss why you may want to name co-executors, as well as the pros and cons of such a strategy. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 Setting up a trust can be great way to control how your assets are distributed to your heirs after you pass away. Trusts are in many ways more flexible than wills in managing an estate's assets. When you've passed, the successor trustee - effectively the "executor" of your trust - is responsible for managing your trust and its assets. Read More...

Mar 11, 2019 Serving as the executor of a will can be a time-consuming endeavor that takes up a lot of mental bandwidth. It can be hard to keep straight the various forms, procedures and duties. To make the process just a bit more straightforward, we've assembled a checklist of the most important steps in the probate process. Keep in mind, though, that every estate is different, which means every executor's experience will be a little different. Read More...

Mar 11, 2019 Executors have broad authority from the courts to navigate an estate through the probate process. However, there are limits on what executors can do. These limitations stem mostly from an executor's fiduciary duty to the estate. We'll dive in to what fiduciary duty is, what it keeps executors from doing and what can happen if they fail. Read More...

Mar 08, 2019 When you serve as the executor of a will, you'll need to grapple with a lot of paperwork as you coordinate the distribution of  assets and property. Rest assured that whatever step of the probate process you’re working through, there’s likely a form for it. We’ll go over some of the most important forms here. Read More...

Mar 08, 2019 Serving as the executor of a will can be a bigger time commitment than many people might expect. Not only do you need to oversee the transfer of assets to the proper beneficiaries, but you also need to pay debts, close accounts and wrap up other miscellaneous affairs for the deceased. Many executors are attorneys or accountants who may not know the deceased very well. However, many times the executor is a close relative or spouse of the decedent (the person who has died). In these instances, the executor of the will may also be one of the beneficiaries named in the will. While that might seem strange, it's actually a fairly common occurrence. Read More...

Mar 08, 2019 A power of attorney is a legal document that transfers control of some of your personal responsibilities to another person. There are a few basic types of power of attorney, one of which is a durable power of attorney. With a durable power of attorney, you immediately transfer the power, legally allowing the agent to start making decisions on your behalf right away. The agent's decision-making power continues if the grantor becomes incapacitated. A durable power of attorney can be useful, but make sure you fully understand what you are doing before you sign one. Read More...

Mar 08, 2019 The executor of a will plays a very important role in the process of closing a deceased individual's estate. Although many think of executors as simply the people who inform heirs of what they've inherited, the job is actually quite wide-ranging. An executor is in charge of all the necessary tasks that come with carrying out a will and managing an estate. The executor must handle all the debts, loose ends, bequests and more that come with an estate. Every estate is different, so a complete list of duties is hard to come by. However, there are several steps of the process that will come up just about every time. Read More...

Apr 01, 2019 Probate is the court-supervised process of validating a deceased person’s will. It involves identifying the person’s final assets, paying last debts and distributing property to the proper heirs. And while state law ultimately determines how probate works, the process is very similar across the country. This article will walk you through it step-by-step. But first, let's determine if probate is even required. If you want hands-on expert guidance to help your through the probate process, check out SmartAsset's free financial advisor matching tool to get paired with up to financial advisors in your area who can best meet your needs. Read More...

Mar 04, 2019 Some people may feel guilty about taking money for serving as the executor of a will. This is understandable, as the people you’ll be working with will undoubtedly be grieving. (Indeed, you may be grieving as well.) However, being an executor can be a time-consuming job that can take weeks or even months. That’s why most executors are entitled to receive some sort of payment for their services, either through the terms of the will or by state law. Read More...

Feb 28, 2019 Although it’s never fun to think about, estate planning is an important part of life, especially as we grow older. Many people choose to create a last will and testament to dictate how to bequeath their property and other assets after they pass away. Inevitably, though, it’s impossible for you to make sure people adhere to your will when the time comes. That’s where the executor of a will comes in. Read More...

Feb 27, 2019 You'll need a power of attorney if you ever end up in a situation where you can't make your own decisions, like if you were medically incapacitated. This is a serious decision that comes with a lot of legal implications, so it isn’t something that you should take lightly. Make sure you know exactly what you are doing when signing power of attorney. Conversely, if someone else asks you to assume power of attorney, make sure you know what that means and that you are prepared for the level of responsibility that comes with it. Whether you're planning your estate or simply planning ahead, here's what you need to know. Read More...

Feb 25, 2019 There are only two things in life that are certain, as the saying goes: death and taxes. While there are ways to limit the amount you’ll pay in taxes, all the miracles of modern medicine aren’t going to allow you to cheat death. The best you can do is to be prepared so that when you do die, your family is well-positioned. One estate planning option is to write a will, which is a legal document directing what will happen to your estate. Read More...

Feb 04, 2019 The time may come when a medical issue leaves you unable to express your wishes about medical treatment. That's why it's important to make preparations ahead of time to make these wishes clear to doctors and family members. Setting up either an advance directive or a living will can avoid any doubt or potential legal issues. Read More...

Jan 02, 2019 Wyoming does not levy an estate tax. There is a federal estate tax, though, that will apply to Wyoming residents with large enough estates. This page will walk Cowboy State residents though what they’ll need to know about the estate tax to make sure their estates are planned carefully and their families are prepared for what will happen when they die. Hiring a financial advisor to help you through the intricacies of estate planning may make sense. SmartAsset can help you find the right advisor for your situation with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Jan 02, 2019 Tennessee has no estate tax, regardless of the size of your estate. There is a federal estate tax, though, that will apply to Volunteer State residents who have estates of sufficient size. This page will walk Tennesseans looking to plan their estates through what they need to know to make sure everything is in order. One of the best ways to prepare your estate is to work with a financial advisor. SmartAsset can help you find the right advisor for you with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Jan 02, 2019 South Dakota does not levy an estate tax. There is a federal estate tax, however, that will apply to South Dakotans who have estates of a certain size. This page is a guide for Mount Rushmore State residents who are looking for information about the estate tax as they plan their estates and make sure their families are ready to deal with every legal and financial step after they're gone. A financial advisor can help make estate planning even easier. SmartAsset makes finding an advisor effortless with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 27, 2018 Setting up a trust fund is one of many ways you can transfer money, property, and other assets to your loved ones or worthwhile causes. Like a will, it's an estate planning tool that outlines how your affairs should be handled after you pass. But a trust fund actually provides more control, privacy, and specificity. It can help you minimize estate taxes and avoid probate, and it can save your beneficiaries time, money, and piles of paperwork. Here's what you need to know about setting up a trust fund. Read More...

Dec 21, 2018 Oklahoma has no estate tax, though some Sooner State residents may pay the federal estate tax if their estate is above a certain size. This page will walk Oklahomans through the estate tax so they can better plan their estate and make sure their family is prepared to deal with their death. Working with an advisor helps to ensure that you take care of every detail when planning your estate. SmartAsset can help you find one with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

May 21, 2019 Wisconsin has no estate tax. The federal estate tax may apply to residents of the state, however, if their estate is valuable enough. This page is for Badger State residents who want to learn more about the estate tax as they prepare themselves and their families for what will happen after they've died. Of course, one of the best ways to plan your estate is to get professional assistance in the form of a financial advisor. SmartAsset can help you easily find an advisor with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 21, 2018 There is no estate tax in North Dakota. The federal government has an estate tax, though, and it may apply to North Dakotans if their estate is of sufficient value. This guide is for Roughrider State residents who are looking for the information needed to effectively plan their estate and make sure their assets are protected and their families are prepared when they die. One of the best ways to prepare for the estate tax and other potential estate planning pitfalls is to hire a financial advisor. SmartAsset can help you find one with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 20, 2018 New Mexico does not have an estate tax, though there is a federal estate tax that will apply to New Mexicans who have large enough estates. This guide will take Land of Enchantment residents though all of the relevant facts they’ll need to navigate estate tax issues as they work to protect their estates and prepare their families for what happens when they eventually die. Finding a professional to help you is one of the best ways to go about estate planning. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service can help you find an advisor who is a good fit for you. Read More...

Dec 20, 2018 New Hampshire has no estate tax. The federal estate tax may apply to residents of the state, though, if their estates are worth enough. This guide is for Granite Staters who are looking for the information they need to work through estate tax issues as they plan their estates and make sure everything is easy for their families after their deaths. One of the best steps to take in planning your estate is hiring a financial advisor to help you work through any problems. SmartAsset can help you find an advisor with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 20, 2018 Nebraska does not have an estate tax, though the federal estate tax will apply to Nebraskans if their estate is worth enough. Nebraska also has an inheritance tax to watch out for. This guide will take Cornhusker State residents through the information they need to know about the estate tax if they want their families to be secure and prepared for what will happen after they die. One way to take action on planning your estate is to hire a financial advisor to help you sort through the issues that come with the process. SmartAsset can help you find one with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 20, 2018 Nevada does not have an estate tax. There is a federal estate tax, though, that may apply if your estate is large enough. This guide will walk Silver State residents through the estate tax information they need to know to make sure their estate planning process goes smoothly and their family is adequately prepared for what happens once they’ve died. If you’re starting to think about estate planning, it may make sense to find a financial advisor to guide you through the trickier parts of the process. SmartAsset can help you find one with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 19, 2018 There is no estate tax in West Virginia, but residents of the state may still have to pay the federal estate tax if the value of their estate is high enough. In this guide, Mountain State residents will find the information they need to prepare for the estate tax and make sure their families are ready for the legal and financial hurdles that will arise when they die. You don’t have to plan your estate by yourself, though. A financial advisor can help you work through all of the problems and come up with a workable plan. You can find an advisor with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 19, 2018 Missouri does not levy its own estate tax. Missourians may be liable for the federal estate tax, though, if their estates are large enough. This guide walks Show-Me State residents through what what they need to be aware of regarding the estate tax to make sure their estate plan is thorough and adequately protects their assets. Finding a financial advisor can make estate planning easier. SmartAsset can help you find the right financial advisor for you with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 19, 2018 Montana does not have an estate tax. Montanans may still have to pay the federal estate tax, though, if the value of their estate is high enough. This guide takes Big Sky Country residents through what they need to know about the estate tax and other taxes that may factor into the estate planning process. If you think you’d like a financial advisor to help you with estate planning, consider finding one using SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 19, 2018 Mississippi has no estate tax, but the federal estate tax will still apply to Mississippians if their estate is worth enough. This page guides Magnolia State residents through what they need to know to protect their assets and make sure their families are ready for any estate tax issues that may come up after they’ve died. Planning an estate takes some time and patience, though, so finding someone to help you may be a good choice. SmartAsset can help you find a financial advisor to assist with estate planning with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 There is no estate tax in Louisiana, but residents of the Bayou State may still have to pay the federal estate tax if their estate is worth enough. This guide takes Louisianans through what they need to know about the estate tax as they begin to think about estate planning. Planning ahead will help you make sure your assets are protected and your affairs are in order for when you eventually pass away. Estate planning isn’t always simple, though, so you may want to enlist a financial advisor to help you. SmartAsset can simplify your search with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 There is no estate tax in Kentucky. However, there is an inheritance tax that residents should be aware of when thinking about estate planning. There is also the federal estate tax to think about, which may apply if your estate is valuable enough. This article is for Bluegrass State residents who are wondering what they need to know as they start to think about the estate tax and how it will impact their estate planning goals. If you need help, you should consider finding a financial advisor to assist with estate planning. SmartAsset makes it easier to find an advisor who meets your needs with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 Hawaii levies an estate tax. The tax is progressive, with rates ranging from 10.00% to 15.70%. For 2018, the estate tax exemption in Hawaii is $5.49 million. That number is expected to rise to the federal exemption level in 2019, though specifics have yet to be determined. This guide is intended for residents of the Aloha State who want to learn what they need to know to ensure their assets are protected and their families are prepared once they die. If you need estate planning assistance, a financial advisor can help. SmartAsset can help you find an advisor with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 Vermont is one of twelve states, plus Washington, D.C., that levies an estate tax. Unlike the other states, though, Vermont’s estate tax is flat. If your estate is worth more than the $2.75 million exemption, the state taxes the excess at a rate of 16%, with no progressive rates or tax brackets involved. If you are a resident of the Green Mountain State and you’re starting to think about estate planning, this guide will take you through what you need to know. You also may want a professional to help you plan your estate. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service can help you find the right advisor to guide you through the process. Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 Iowa does not levy an estate tax, but Iowans may still have to pay the federal estate tax if they have enough assets. The Hawkeye State has an inheritance tax to consider as well. This guide will walk Iowans through what they need to know to prepare their estates and make sure their families are taken care of when they pass away. It isn’t always simple to plan an estate, though, and you may want help. SmartAsset makes it easy to find a professional to help you with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 Kansas does not have an estate tax, but residents of the Sunflower State may have to pay a federal estate tax if their estate is of sufficient size. This guide walks Kansans who are starting to think about estate planning through what they need to know to protect their legacy after they pass. Planning an estate isn't easy, though, so it might make sense to get help. SmartAsset makes it easy to find a financial advisor with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 Idaho has no state-level estate tax. Idahoans with estates of a certain size may still have to worry about the federal estate tax, though. This guide walks Gem State residents through the facts and figures they need to know about the estate tax and other relevant taxes as they begin planning their estates. Estate planning isn’t easy though, so you may want to find help in the form of a financial advisor. SmartAsset can help you find an advisor who is a good fit for you with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 05, 2018 Creating an advance directive is an important part of your end-of-life planning. Doing so will help to communicate your wishes in medical situations where you can’t express them yourself. While a financial advisor can help you put together an advance directive, you can also create one yourself. If you live in Indiana and you’re considering drafting an advance directive, this guide will walk you through what it is, how to make one and if it’s something you need. Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 Indiana does not levy an estate tax. Residents of the state may still have to pay the federal estate tax, though, if their estates are worth enough. This guide is for Hoosiers who are starting to think about their own estates and want to find out what they need to do to protect their legacy. Estate planning can take some work, though, so you may want to find a professional to help you out. SmartAsset can help you find a professional who meets your needs with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 There is no estate tax in Utah. There is a federal estate tax, though, and residents of the Beehive State with sufficiently large estates may have to pay that. This guide is for Utahns who are starting to think about estate planning and want to learn more to ensure they protect their assets and prepare their families. If you want help with estate planning or financial planning more generally, consider working with a financial advisor. SmartAsset can help you find one with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Dec 06, 2018 An advance directive is an important element of a thorough  estate planning strategy. If you live in Vermont and you’re unsure if you should draft an advance directive, this guide will walk you through what an advance directive is, how to make one and if it’s something you need. Please note, though, that if you're planning for the end of your life and thinking about an estate plane, it's a good idea to seek out the services of a  financial advisor. Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 There is an estate tax in Connecticut. It is progressive, and tax rates range from 7.20% to 12.00%. For 2018, the estate tax applies to estates that are worth more than $2.60 million. If you're resident of Connecticut and thinking about planning your estate, this guide will explain what you need to know about the estate tax to make sure your affairs are in order when you pass away. If the estate tax may apply to you, consider finding a financial advisor to guide you through the estate planning process. SmartAsset can help you find an advisor with our free financial advisor matching… Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 There is no estate tax in Delaware at the state level. The federal government does levy a tax on estates that reach a certain threshold, though, so residents of The First State may have to pay that. Delaware residents can use this guide to learn what they need to know about the estate tax if they are starting to think about estate planning. Estate planning is complicated, so you may want to get some help. A financial advisor will take you through everything you need to know about estate planning, and SmartAsset can help you find a financial advisor with our free financial advisor matching… Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 Arkansas does not levy an estate tax. The federal government does have an estate tax, though, and Arkansas residents may be subject to that if the value of their estate is high enough. This guide is for residents of The Natural State who are starting to think about estate planning and want to make sure everything is taken care of when they are gone. If you want more help with estate planning or any other financial planning matter, finding a financial advisor may make sense. SmartAsset has a free financial advisor matching service that can help you find an advisor in your area. Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 Alaska does not levy an estate tax, but residents of The Last Frontier with especially large estates may still be subject to the federal estate tax. Use this guide to find out what you need to know if you're an Alaskan planning your estate. If you're finding estate planning — or financial and retirement planning more generally — overwhelming, consider finding a financial advisor to help you. SmartAsset's free financial advisor matching service makes it easier to find an advisor in your area. Read More...

Dec 18, 2018 There is no estate tax in Alabama. However, residents may still be subject to the federal estate tax if their estate is worth enough. If you live in the Cotton State and are starting to think about estate planning, this guide will explain what you need to know so that you can make sure all of your loose ends are tied up. If you want help with estate planning or with financial planning more generally, think about finding a financial advisor to help. SmartAsset's  free financial advisor matching service can help you find an advisor in your area. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 Passing money down from generation to generation inevitably involves taxes. There's the  gift tax and the federal estate tax. Many states also charge an estate tax. However, there is a way to gift larger sums of money without as big of a tax burden: a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT). A GRAT is a type of irrevocable trust that allows you to minimize the tax cost of passing on assets. Read More...

Oct 31, 2018 An advance directive can be an important aspect of your  estate planning strategy and emergency preparations. Having one can assure you that you'll receive the medical treatment you want if you lose the ability to make your own decisions. If you live in North Carolina and you’re wondering if an advance directive is something you should draft up, this guide will walk you through the basics of what it is, how to create it and if it’s right for you. When it comes to making plans for the end of your life, talking with a financial advisor can make the process significantly easier. SmartAsset’s Read More...

Oct 31, 2018 When it comes to estate planning and making preparations for the end of your life, you may benefit a great deal from creating an advance directive. If you live in Oregon and you’re considering creating an advance directive for yourself, this guide will walk you through the basics of what it is, how to create it and if it’s right for you. Talking with a financial advisor can do a lot to ease the process of preparing for the end of your life. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can pair you with… Read More...

Oct 31, 2018 An advance directive is an important document to consider when making plans for your estate and the medical unknown. If you live in Arizona and you’re wondering if an advance directive is something you should draft up, this guide will help you understand what advanced directives are, how to make one and if it’s something you need. When it comes to making plans for the end of your life, talking with a financial advisor can do a lot to make the process easier. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can… Read More...

Oct 30, 2018 An advance directive can be a crucial document when assembling your estate planning strategy. If you live in Maryland and you’re wondering if an advance directive is something you should draft up, this guide will help you understand what advanced directives are, how to make one and if it’s something you need. Talking with a financial advisor can do a lot to ease the process of preparing for the end of your life. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can pair you with up to three financial advisors in… Read More...

Dec 21, 2018 When it comes to estate planning and making arrangements for the medical unknown, an advance directive can be extremely important. If you live in Oklahoma and you’re wondering if an advance directive is something you should draft up, this guide will help you understand what advanced directives are, how to make one and if it’s something you need. Talking with a financial advisor can do a lot to ease the process of preparing for the end of your life. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can… Read More...

Oct 25, 2018 An advance directive can be a crucial document when assembling your  estate planning strategy. If you live in Virginia and you’re considering creating an advance directive for yourself, this guide will walk you through the basics of what it is, how to create it and if it’s right for you. Making plans for the end of your life is extremely important even if it's not the rosiest task. Luckily, talking with a financial advisor can streamline the process significantly. SmartAsset’s financial advisor… Read More...

Oct 25, 2018 When it comes to estate planning and making plans for the medical unknown, an advance directive can be extremely significant. If you live in Georgia and you’re considering creating an advance directive for yourself, this guide will walk you through the basics of what it is, how to create it and if it’s right for you. When it comes to making plans for the end of your life, talking with a financial advisor can ease the process significantly. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can pair you with… Read More...

May 20, 2019 Advance directives are legal documents that serve as crucial pillars in both  estate planning and preparations for potential medical complications. If you live in Colorado and you’re considering creating an advance directive for yourself, this guide will walk you through the basics of what it is, how to create it and if it’s right for you. When it comes to making plans for the end of your life, talking with a financial advisor can ease the process significantly. SmartAsset’s financial advisor… Read More...

Oct 26, 2018 When it comes to estate planning and making preparations for the end of your life, you may benefit a great deal from creating an advance directive. If you live in New Jersey and you’re considering creating an advance directive for yourself, this guide will walk you through the basics of what it is, how to create it and if it’s right for you. Talking with a financial advisor can do a lot to ease the process of preparing for the end of your life. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can pair you… Read More...

Oct 25, 2018 When it comes to estate planning and making plans for the medical unknown, an advance directive can be extremely significant. If you live in Texas and you’re wondering if an advance directive is something you need, this guide will help you understand what advanced directives are, how to make one and if it’s something you need. Talking with a financial advisor can do a lot to ease the process of preparing for the end of your life. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can pair you with up to three… Read More...

Oct 25, 2018 An advance directive is an important document to consider when making plans for your estate and the medical unknown. If you live in Florida and you’re considering creating an advance directive for yourself, this guide will walk you through the basics of what it is, how to create it and if it’s right for you. When it comes to estate planning and preparing for all possibilities, talking with a financial advisor significantly simplifies the process. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can pair you… Read More...

Oct 25, 2018 An advance directive can be a crucial document when it comes to estate planning and preparing yourself for potential medical complications. If you live in California and you’re considering creating an advance directive for yourself, this guide will walk you through the basics of what it is, how to create it and if it’s right for you. When it comes to making plans for the end of your life, talking with a financial advisor can do a lot to make the process easier. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching… Read More...

Sep 21, 2018 No one likes to think about death. It’s important, though, to consider your mortality when it comes to money. If you don’t, your family could end up having to scramble when you do pass on. One way to prepare for your eventual demise is to form a Totten trust, which is essentially a bank account with a named beneficiary. Read More...

Sep 14, 2018 If you are thinking about estate planning, there are a lot of options available for ensuring your assets are protected and your family is taken care of once you’ve died. One of these options is to store your assets in a living trust. This article will provide information for anyone considering forming a living trust in Maryland, with a step-by-step guide to the process and a look at why you may or may not want to create a living trust. If you are starting the estate planning process, you might want to find a financial advisor to help you. SmartAsset offers a free financial advisor matching serviceRead More...

Sep 04, 2018 Are you getting ready to plan your estate? If so, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from to protect your assets for your family. One of them is a living trust. This article is for people in South Carolina who are thinking about forming a living trust. It will take you through all of the steps to creating living trust in the state and also explain the pluses and minuses of using a living trust as part of your estate plan. Read More...

Dec 19, 2018 If you’re starting to think about estate planning, there are a lot of options out there for you. One method of protecting your assets for your family is to form a living trust. This article will take you through the steps it takes to create a living trust in Louisiana, plus look at the pros and cons of using a living trust in your estate plan. If you’re thinking of forming a living trust or you just want some more general financial planning help, getting a financial advisor is probably a good idea. You can find one who suits your needs using SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. … Read More...

Dec 21, 2018 Are thinking about getting started on an estate plan? If so, there are a lot of possible routes you can take to prepare. One of the methods you can use is to make a living trust. This article will guide you through creating a living trust in New Mexico, laying out all of the steps and looking at the pros and cons of using a living trust as part of your estate plan. If you’re just starting with estate planning or if you’ve been trying and you’re at a loss, a financial advisor may be able to help. SmartAsset has a free financial advisor matching service you can use to find an advisor who is right for you. Read More...

Dec 06, 2018 If you’re getting ready to plan your estate, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options you have to choose from to protect your assets and your family. This guide will explain one of those options, living trusts, for people in Iowa. Below, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to creating a living trust in the Hawkeye State, as well as an overview of the pros and cons of using one. If you are in the midst of estate planning and think you need some help, you might consider finding a financial advisor to serve as your guide. SmartAsset has a free financial advisor matching service that can help… Read More...

Sep 04, 2018 There are many ways to plan your estate, and it isn’t always easy to pick which method you’re going to use to protect your family and your assets. One option is to form a living trust. If you are in Ohio, this guide will take you step by step through how to make a living trust. It will also explain why you might want to think about forming a living trust -- and why it might not always be the best choice. For those of you thinking about making a living trust or anyone just working on financial planning in general, retaining the services of a financial advisor may be a good choice. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service can help you find an advisor in your area who… Read More...

Sep 04, 2018 Planning an estate is a complicated process, and there are a number of ways to go about it. Whichever way you choose though, you’ll want to make sure your assets and your family are cared for and protected. A living trust is one popular way to do that. Read More...

Sep 04, 2018 Getting your estate ready for when you die may not be the most fun activity in the world, but it is necessary. There are a lot of ways to go about doing it, though. One of them is to create a living trust. If you’re in New Jersey, this guide will walk you through the steps to create a living trust and also examine the pluses and minuses of using a living trust to protect your assets for your family. Whether you’re creating a living trust or doing any other sort of financial planning activity, getting a financial advisor may be a good idea. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service can help you find a good fit in your area. Read More...

Dec 21, 2018 Estate planning is incredibly important, yet it remains a bit of a mystery to many people. How exactly should you go about protecting your assets so your family is in the best position when you die? There are many ways to do it, but one way is to create a living trust. Read More...

Sep 04, 2018 It isn’t easy to plan your estate. There are a lot of moving parts, and it isn’t always fun to think about what is going to happen to your family and your property after you’ve died. Still, it’s important to think about how to best protect your assets and ensure your family is cared for once you're gone. One way to do that is to form a living trust. Read More...

Nov 28, 2018 Legacy and estate planning is a difficult and sometimes uncomfortable process. One possible way to make it easier is to form a living trust. If you live in Arkansas and you’re thinking about creating a living trust as part of your estate plan, this article will take you through all of the steps and provide an overview of the pros and cons of making a living trust in the state. If you’re thinking about creating a living trust or you just have some general financial planning concerns, a financial advisor can help. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service can help you find an advisor in… Read More...

Sep 14, 2018 Estate planning presents a number of choices. One way to protect and pass on your estate is to form a living trust. If you’re in Washington and thinking about creating a living trust, this guide has all of the information you’ll need, including a step-by-step rundown on how to set up a living trust. If you’re about to make a living trust or are dealing with financial planning questions more generally, it might make sense to find a financial advisor to help. SmartAsset offers a free financial advisor matching service that will help you find a good advisor for you in your area. Read More...

Aug 22, 2018 A living trust is one way to plan your legacy and estate -- and to make things a bit easier for your family once you’ve died. If you live in Florida, this guide will tell you how to set up up a living trust and also provide some relevant information to help you decide if a living trust is the right option for you. If you’re creating a living trust or thinking about estate planning in general, it might make sense to talk to a financial advisor. SmartAsset offers a free financial advisor matching service that can help you find an advisor in your area who suits your needs. Read More...

Sep 14, 2018 You have a lot of options for planning your estate. One of them is to form a living trust. If you live in Michigan and are thinking about creating a living trust, this guide will give you all of the information you need, plus a step-by-step guide to actually making your own living trust. If you’re setting up a living trust or thinking about any other type of financial planning, it might make sense for you to find a financial advisor. SmartAsset offers a free financial advisor matching service that can help you find the right advisor for you in your area. Read More...

Sep 14, 2018 A living trust is an estate planning option that can make things easier for your family after you’ve died. This guide will take you through the process of creating a living trust in Texas, giving you all of the information you’ll need to make setting up a living trust as painless as possible. If you’re setting up a living trust -- or just looking for help with any other financial planning activity -- it might make sense to find a financial advisor. SmartAsset offers a free financial advisor matching service that can help you find an advisor in your area who is a good for for you and your family. Read More...

Aug 22, 2018 There are a number of ways to plan your estate, but one popular option is to form a living trust. This guide has all of the information you need to know about living trusts, including a step-by-step guide to setting one up in the state of Oregon. For those of you thinking about estate planning, getting the help of a financial advisor may be a good choice. SmartAsset offers a free financial advisor matching service to help you find an advisor in your area who suits your needs. Read More...

Aug 22, 2018 If you’re starting to think about your legacy and creating a plan for your estate, a living trust is one way to protect your assets and make life easier for your heirs. If you’re living in Illinois and thinking about creating a living trust, this guide will take you through the process and give you the information you need to know about the pros and cons of living trusts. Read More...

Aug 22, 2018 A living trust is one way to be proactive about planning your estate. If you’re in Arizona and think that establishing a living trust might be the best way for you to protect your assets and make life as easy as possible for your family after you’ve died, this guide will give you the information you need to set up the trust. Whether you’re creating a trust or a financial plan, you might also benefit from talking to a financial advisor. SmartAsset offers a free financial advisor matching service that will help you find an advisor in your area who is a good fit for you. Read More...

Aug 21, 2018 A living trust is one way to make things as easy as possible for your family after you’re gone. If you are living in New York and thinking about creating a living trust, this article will provide you with all of the relevant information you need, including a step-by-step guide through the process. Read More...

Sep 14, 2018 A living trust can be a useful tool for planning your estate. If you’re living in California and considering using a living trust to protect your assets during your golden years, this guide will provide you with all of the information you need to make sure you’re taking the right steps to create a living trust that will serve you the way you want. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 Though it's uncomfortable to think about death, it's crucial to take certain steps to protect your assets before that time comes. Living trusts and wills are two estate planning options designed specifically to help you prepare for the inevitable. While one focuses largely on the management of your assets during life and after death, the other focuses solely on the distribution of your assets after you've passed away. Read More...

Dec 11, 2018 The Maryland estate tax applies to estates worth more than $4 million. If you live in Maryland and are thinking about estate planning, this guide will walk you through what you need to know about the Maryland estate tax. If you think you'll need help with planning, consider working with a financial advisor. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching service can help you find one that’s a good fit for you. Read More...

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