The unfortunate reality is that excuses abound when it comes to executing an estate plan. Indeed, statistics show that over 50 percent of the population here in the U.S. has not taken a single step in this regard, with people frequently citing the same excuses such as their age, their lack of assets, or their lack of time.
The youngest members of the baby boomer generation are entering their 50s this year, which means a large percentage of the population in Massachusetts and the rest of the United States is nearing or has reached retirement age.
Massachusetts taxpayers know that the federal government raised tax rates for personal and investment incomes for wealthy individuals effective for 2013 tax returns. The tax changes were in part implemented to fund the President's health care plan. While this hike in income tax rates will only affect individuals making more than $400,000, the new marginal rate will affect trusts making more than $11,950 a year. This change in tax law may create challenges for estate planners.
In an action that affects Massachusetts residents and citizens all across the country, Congress passed the American Tax Relief Act of 2012. Included in that law are provisions for transfer taxes or taxes on an estate.
The federal tax code exerts an outsized influence on public perceptions of virtually every area of tax law.
In the first part of this post, we noted how easy it can be to overlook even the most basic estate planning steps. Even for a lawyer, such as the character of Matthew Crawley on "Downton Abbey," getting a proper will in place proved to be not at all straightforward.
“Walking the talk” is a current phrase for an age-old reality. It is all too easy, in the abstract, to say people should take a given action. It is often more difficult, however, to actually follow through and do so.
In the first part of this post on the basics of estate planning, we focused on the documents that people should put in place to provide structure and guidance for health care decisions. That guidance and structure is crucial in situations when someone is no longer able to make those decisions for themselves due to cognitive or other impairments.
Many parents give deeply of time and treasure to cherished children. To a great extent, such gifts are a natural expression love.
With Game 5 of the World Series set for tonight, Red Sox fans in New England and across the nation will be turning their thoughts once again to the baseball diamond.