Estate Planning attorneys balance competing interests when helping clients decide who they should name as personal representative and trustee. Some of the factors that a client needs to consider are the nominee’s responsibility, financial savvy, and temperament. These factors influence the fiduciary’s ability to pay debts, expenses, claims, negotiate on behalf of the estate, and to conclude the administration of the estate or trust. While many individuals consider acting in this capacity a great honor, the role comes with serious implications, including personal liability for failure to pay taxes
Estate Planning attorneys balance competing interests when creating estate plans. Uncertainty about the future concerning taxes and each beneficiary’s situation requires flexibility in an Estate Plan. Powers of appointment offer Estate Planning attorneys a way to add flexibility to a plan without complication. When creating powers of appointment, it’s important to consider not only the reason for including the power but also the way it needs to be exercised
Even individuals with modest estates purchase life insurance which means that Estate Planning attorneys must understand the rules regarding taxation of life insurance. Retention of certain powers or certain transactions could cause negative income, gift, or estate tax consequences.
Life insurance has long been part of Estate Plans, whether used to ensure liquidity for the estate on the death of the insured, or simply as income replacement on the death of the insured. Understanding the impact of life insurance on an estate plan has become critically important. A recent tax court case resulted in a big win for the taxpayer in a complex set of facts which could impact how you incorporate life insurance for your Estate Planning clients
Estate planning attorneys need to understand and explain taxation of trusts in order to properly advise clients. Individual clients need to understand the implications of the plan their attorney suggests in order to properly file their own taxes. Determining whether a trust qualifies as a grantor trust or a nongrantor trust is the first step in determining tax liability for a particular year.