You've heard of a "will" and a "trust," but you may not know the differences between the two. You may be asking yourself, "Do I need a will?" or "Do I need a trust?" or "Do I need both?"
Attorney J. Kenneth Harris of Harris Law Offices will be discussing Grantor Trusts during his presentation at the National Business Institute’s Trusts 101 Seminar on October 6. The seminar is designed for professionals who are involved in the creation, administration, and termination of trusts – this includes attorneys, accountants, tax preparers, trust officers, and paralegals.
I recently had a client contact me with the following situation: a limited liability company ("LLC") was formed to operate a business and there was a single owner/member of the LLC. In the case of a single member LLC, the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) says that absent a specific election to the contrary a single member LLC is treated as an "ignored entity" for income tax purposes and, accordingly uses the member/owner's social security number for income tax filing purposes.
One of the main purposes of estate planning is to have control over how your assets are distributed when you die. When you choose people to receive your money, your home, your furnishings and personal belongings, they are called "beneficiaries."
"Oh! Pick me! I know the answer to this one. I can probate myself easily. I just write up a Will and then when I die, that Will holds true."
Throughout life, there is one inevitable fact: someday, we all will pass on. This can be a scary thought for some of us, especially if we fear death. Imagine how much scarier this would be for those who have to live on in our absence.
It's very difficult for spouses, family members and close friends to deal with their loved one's passing and to complicate matters even more, they have to start thinking about what to do with their loved one's property and making sure that an inheritance is passed on to the heirs. What some people may not realize is that often times they will have to go to court in order to transfer the decedent's assets into someone else's name; this process is called probate.
The last will and testament, otherwise known as a "will" is a legal document that communicates one's personal wishes as pertaining to their possessions and their heirs or beneficiaries. Your last will and testament will outline what you want done with your possessions; for example, whether you want them to be left to certain family members, a group, or donated to a favorite charity.
From a personal and financial perspective, retirement is an important milestone in life. For most of us, realizing a comfortable retirement where we don't have to pinch pennies is an incredibly extensive process that requires sensible planning and many years of diligent persistence.