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June 2014 Archives

Estate tax planning: Does Congress want to kill the death tax?

A common component of the estate planning process is to try to limit an individual’s estate tax exposure. Estate tax planning strategies are typically employed by those of higher wealth and income brackets, depending on the state in which the person resides. Some states, like Texas for example, do not have estate taxes. Also, as of 2014, the federal estate tax does not go into effect unless an estate exceeds $5.34 million in value.

Estate planning: Avoiding family disputes following one's death

These days, the complexity of divorced and split families makes arguments over the assets in a deceased family member’s estate more likely. Estate disputes following one's death is an outcome that most estate planners will want to try to avoid at all costs. Indeed, one of the primary goals of good estate planning is to maintain the continuity and peace in one’s family so that spouses, children and grandchildren can stay on loving terms with one another. Fortunately, there are a few considerations that Houston residents can keep in mind while creating an estate plan in order to avoid disputes among their relatives after their deaths.

No luck identifying beneficiaries of multi-millionaire's estate

A 97-year-old millionaire who died in 2012 did not leave behind any kind of will and testimony. As such, the fate of his $40 million estate continues to be in question. So far, authorities have failed at identifying beneficiaries who could be the legal heirs of the man’s estate. This is an out-of-state case; however, situations like this do occur from time to time in Texas and other areas of the country.

Is one ever too young for estate planning?

Many individuals may be under the common misconception that estate planning and wills are only for older Texas residents. However, age should not be considered a determining factor when it comes to deciding if it is time to draft a will or begin one's estate planning process. Indeed, wills are important because they instruct the people who survive a deceased loved one on how that person may have wanted possessions and financial assets to be distributed and divided in the wake of death.