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December 2017 Archives

Hugh Hefner estate plan shows different types of trusts available

When a Texan is contemplating strategies for an estate plan, the individual situation will largely dictate how they go about it. Circumstances and personal preferences will play a significant role. If trusts are the preferred method when drafting estate planning documents, there are many options available and individual desires can be paramount. This is exemplified by the details of the trust created by the late publishing magnate Hugh Hefner. In his estate plan, he made certain to include a stipulation that his heirs needed to maintain a certain lifestyle to get their portion of the trust.

Learning from mistakes famous people made in estate planning

Most Texans will never have the level of wealth that famous musicians have. So, when it comes to drafting estate planning documents, people who are of lesser means will frequently scoff at the idea that they can learn something from mistakes made by famous performers who died in the not-so-distant past such as Michael Jackson, Prince and Whitney Houston. However, the three artists - who died relatively young - did make mistakes that can provide guidance to people who are formulating their estate plan.

What life events warrant updates to your estate plan?

After you completed your estate plan, you may have felt a well-deserved sense of accomplishment. Making a plan for your end-of-life wishes can have its difficulties as you must make many decisions. Many people often choose to forgo the process because of the challenges it could present, so the fact that you finished your plan certainly acts as a sign of success.

Estate planning when an heir might have addiction issues

Texans who are taking the necessary steps with estate planning will have different concerns depending on the circumstances. One issue that is growing problematic not just for society in general, but for those who are thinking about their beneficiaries, is drug addiction. The opioid crisis is something that is becoming a national epidemic and more and more people are thinking about this when they craft an estate plan. People who have heirs who they believe might already be involved in drugs or could be susceptible to the temptation should know how to account for this when they formulate their end of life documents.

Can estate planning address care for pets?

Texans will undoubtedly want to ensure their loved ones are cared for after they are gone and they do so by formulating a comprehensive estate plan. An aspect of an estate plan that is often important to pet owners is how the pet will be cared for. Increasingly, people are taking legal steps to make certain the pet will not be abandoned, ignored or worse after the owner's death. There are important issues to remember with pets and people can put in writing how the pet will be handled.

How the federal government can affect heirs' tax responsibilities

There is an ongoing debate in Washington D.C. about the estate tax and how it will be handled. Texans who have a substantial enough portfolio where it will be affected by the estate tax if it stays in place or if it is repealed should keep track of the proposals and potential changes that might be made as it will be important to their estate planning and how it affects their heirs. In general, people who are considered wealthy are affected by the estate tax. However, the argument to repealing it is to make certain that those who have hefty assets will have a chance to maintain their wealth.