Q: I'm not wealthy enough to have to
worry about inheritance tax -- especially with Congress having recently
raised the limits.
Estate planning is
not just about tax minimization. The focus today is more on protection
from creditors, guardianship, elderly years asset management and more.
See the examples
services can be costly. What is the expense?
Most estate planning is in the neighborhood of a few thousand dollars or
less. Many times a moderate expense today can save a much larger liability in from
the future -- especially if beneficiaries argue over ambiguities. See the Althoff Law
price schedule for additional detail.
Q: What is a Trust, and is it something
to be concerned about?
A Trust is a
separate financial entity over which you have control that has many advantages as a place to preserve
your wealth. Trusts form the basis of most modern estate planning and
enable you to pass more of your money to heirs, protect your assets, and
provide for the future generation.
Q: There a lot of complicated words in this
business. Where can I go for some explanations?
Margaret Althoff specializes in
clear easy to understand -- visual and numeric when appropriate --
explanations. To get you started, a
dozen definitions are published in this web.
Q: I heard Congress just passed new
Tax Legislation in December 2010. What changed?
A: The exclusion was raised to $5M for 2011 and 2012 and the tax
bracket was kept at 35%. Unless Congress actions again, the maximum
rate in 2013 raises to 55% with an exclusion of just $1M. A more
detailed explanation is available.