April/May Insight on Estate Planning

Apr 04, 2016

Here’s a brief glance at what you’ll find in the April/May issue…

Have you addressed elderly parents in your estate plan?

Typically, an estate plan includes accommodations for one’s spouse, children, grandchildren and even future generations. But some members of the family can be overlooked, such as parents or in-laws. This article offers a five-step plan for adult children to incorporate their parents’ needs into their own estate plans. A sidebar notes the peril of making gifts without considering the impact they might have on any government benefits due to the recipient.

Keying into your digital assets

Revise your estate plan to account for online documents

In the not-so-distant past, one likely kept copies of vital estate planning documents locked in a fire-resistant vault or file cabinet, with copies at an attorney’s office. However, in this digital age, it’s more likely that legal documents and financial statements are being stored in online ledgers, including email transmissions from banks and other financial institutions. This article explores questions regarding the digital storage of documents and offers practical steps to help make it easier for family members to access digital files and accounts.

Donate art and secure a tax break

Valuable works of art may be ideal candidates for charitable donation. Generally, it’s advantageous to donate appreciated property to avoid capital gains taxes. Because the top capital gains rate for art and other “collectibles” is 28%, donating art is particularly effective. This article answers key questions to keep in mind when donating art, including getting an appraisal, being cognizant of the related-use rule, and considering a fractional donation.

Estate Planning Pitfall

Your college-age child doesn’t have an estate plan

In addition to essentials such as clothing, toiletries, bedding and a laptop, students heading off to college in the fall also should “pack” all the necessary financial and medical documents. This brief article details important estate planning documents every student should have.

Click here to view a PDF of the newsletter with full articles.