Author Archives: Carla Ranum
SHOULD MY ESTATE PLAN INCLUDE A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST?
Does your estate plan contemplate giving property or income to an heir who now, or in the future may, receive government benefits (such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income) that could be lost or reduced if the heir receives assets or income directly from your estate? If so, consider distributing the property or income to… Read More »
SHOULD I PUT MY HOUSE IN MY LLC?
Clients who have formed, or are forming, a limited liability company (“LLC”) often ask whether they can put their primary residence in their LLC. Below are some of the reasons this is a bad idea: Idaho provides a $100,000 homestead exemption that protects your personal residence from the claims of unsecured creditors. By putting your… Read More »
To get married or not – Some Issues to Consider
WE NOW CAN GET MARRIED, BUT SHOULD WE? The table below lists some of the advantages and disadvantages of marrying versus remaining unmarried. Note, however, that when any two people marry, which laws apply can be confusing. For example, many Federal statutes vary in their application depending on whether the marriage is recognized in the… Read More »
IF YOU HAVE MINOR CHILDREN, HOW SHOULD THEIR FINANCIAL AFFAIRS BE HANDLED IN THE EVENT OF YOUR EARLY DEMISE?
If you have minor children, it is important to execute a Will in which you name a guardian to care for your children if you should die before they are 18 years old. In addition, if you are leaving assets to assist in paying for your children’s expenses, you may wish to consider nominating either… Read More »
WHY DON’T PARENTS WITH MINOR CHILDREN HAVE A WILL?
When parents with young children are asked why they don’t have a Last Will & Testament, the most common responses are: I won’t die anytime soon, I don’t have any money to leave to anyone, It is too expensive, and It will all work out. Unfortunately, failing to name a guardian for minor children in… Read More »
BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS- SIMPLE MISTAKES THAT CAUSE BIG PROBLEMS
When you open an IRA, other retirement plans or annuities, the custodian always asks you to indicate in writing who should receive the balance in the account at your death. This is called a “beneficiary designation”. What could be simpler? All you have to do is list the primary beneficiary and name a “contingent” beneficiary… Read More »
TO GIFT DURING LIFE OR TRANSFER PROPERTY AT DEATH
Clients often ask whether it is better to give property to their children now or transfer it to them on their death. In addition to considering the client’s non-tax objectives, the answer will be shaped by Federal estate and gift taxes and capital gains taxes. Non-taxable Estate, Transfer By Gift. If the client’s estate will… Read More »
Series LLCs – Better Asset Protection?
If you own several income producing properties or businesses, then lawyers typically recommend placing each property and/or business in a separate legal entity such as a limited liability company (“LLC”) so that creditors of one entity will not have access to the assets of any other entity or the personal assets of the owner. A… Read More »
Use of LLCs in Estate Planning & Small Business Planning
Limited liability companies (“LLCs”) offer a flexible vehicle for families and small business owners to facilitate the transfer of property among family members and to manage property within families over many generations. An LLC is a corporation established under state law that offers the flexibility of a partnership form, including an option to elect “pass… Read More »
Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA June 26, 2013
In a landmark case, United States v. Windsor, https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-307_g2bh.pdf, the United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act on the grounds that it is an unconstitutional deprivation of the equal liberty of persons protected by the Fifth Amendment. The syllabus to the opinion states “DOMA’s principal effect is to identify and make unequal a… Read More »