Law Office of Sharon C. Stodghill

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October 2018 Archives

New tax laws and their effect on estate planning

Texas residents may be aware that a new tax law was signed into law at the end of 2017 and how it may affects aspects of financial planning but they may not be aware they it can play a big role in estate planning. The tax reform legislation substantially raised the estate tax exemption over previous limits, and this can impact gifting and estate planning until 2025, when the law is set to expire, and afterwards as well.

We help individuals, families and businesses with estate planning

It's important to remember that a will is merely one tool available to people looking to put together an estate plan. Depending on one's specific situation, there may be other tools that should also be used to create a good plan. These other tools could include trusts and powers of attorney.

Executor duties series: Paying creditors and taxes

So far in our executor duties series, we have identified the first two steps an executor of an estate should take. Those were to locate and secure all assets and to consolidate all estate funds into a newly formed estate account. That brings us to the third task of an executor, which is to notify and pay all creditors of the estate, as well as file any unfiled tax returns.

Establishing a trust for your furry companion

Have you ever used an image of your pet as your profile picture on social media? Do you include your pet in your family or holiday pictures? Does your pet travel with you on vacation? Perhaps your animal sleeps in your bed, sits on your furniture and even eats from your dishes. Certainly, your dog or cat provides you with comfort and consolation even when you are at your worst.

Executor duties series: Consolidating estate funds

In the second installment of our Executor Duties series, we are going to discuss consolidating estate funds. Our first post determined that the first responsibility of the executor of an estate is to locate and secure physical assets owned by a decedent. Bank accounts, retirement accounts and other sources of funds of a deceased person are considered non-physical assets. It is also an executor's duty to locate and consolidate these. However, there is a process that must be followed in order to accomplish this task.