Effective estate management enables you to manage your affairs during your lifetime and control the distribution of your wealth after death. An effective estate strategy can spell out your healthcare wishes and ensure that they’re carried out – even if you are unable to communicate. It can even designate someone to manage your financial affairs should you be unable to do so.

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Estate Articles

Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs)

Suppose your financial objectives include income and leaving a legacy for your heirs. In that case, it’s essential to work with a financial professional familiar with your many options, including older tools. Grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) gained popularity in 2000 after a favorable ruling by the U.S. Tax Court

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White Elephant Inheritance

Have you ever had to deal with a “white elephant”? Not the actual pachyderm, but what Merriam-Webster calls “a property requiring much care and expense yielding little profit” or, more simply, “something of little or no value.” Of course, we’re not talking about the sort of “white elephants” you might

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Intellectual Property and Your Estate

Among the many considerations to ponder when forming your estate strategy, intellectual property (IP) is among the more important and misunderstood. The phrase itself may be somewhat confusing, as people may not know whether it applies to them or their assets. To clear things up, let’s start by defining what

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Estate Strategies of the Rich and Famous

How the Queen of Soul, the Lizard King, and Other Celebrities Determined Their Legacies    Famous people are all too human. Tabloid newspapers and celebrity magazines and websites make bank chronicling their every moment, from going out for a coffee to attending glamorous premieres and glitzy concerts. And, yes, whenever

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Are You Prepared for an Estate Tax Sunset?

The federal estate tax threshold rose to $27.22 million in 2024 for married couples and $13.61 million for individuals as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Like several TCJA provisions, the higher estate tax limit is due to sunset in 2025. Barring congressional action, the exemption amount

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3 Estate Challenges for Blended Families

Preparing your estate can be complicated, and if you’re a part of a blended family, estate decisions can be even more complex and nuanced. Blended families take on many forms but typically consist of couples with children from previous relationships. Here are a few case studies to help illustrate some

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Managing an Inheritance

Inheriting wealth can be a burden and a blessing. Even if you have an inclination that a family member may remember you in their last will and testament, there are many facets to the process of inheritance that you may not have considered. Here are some things you may want

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A Checklist for When a Spouse or Parent Passes

When you lose a spouse, partner, or parent, the grief can be overwhelming. In the midst of that grief, life goes on. There are arrangements to be made, things to be taken care of – and in recognition of this reality, here is a checklist that you may find useful

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Managing the Risk of Outliving Your Money

“What is your greatest retirement fear?” If you ask some pre-retirees this question, “outliving my money” may be one of the top answers. In fact, 45% of workers say they fear outliving their savings and investments.1 Retirees face greater “longevity risk” today. The Census Bureau says that Americans typically retire

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When Heirs are Imperfect

Passing your estate to an heir with credit problems or a gambling or alcohol addiction might not only lead to that wealth being squandered, but the inheritance could worsen the destructive behaviors. Of course, you don’t want to disinherit your child simply because of their personal challenges. There are potential

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