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Posted on Mon Dec 21, 2015, on Trusts
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My only asset is a large individual retirement account (IRA). I am 79 years old and am worried that, in the next few years, I may have to move into assisted living or a nursing home. Can I move my IRA into an Irrevocable Trust to shelter it from creditors?
If you have named your children as beneficiaries of your individual retirement account (IRA), you have likely made a mistake that exposes the IRA to your children’s spouses, to their creditors and to easily avoidable future inheritance and estate taxes. Forming and naming an IRA Trust for your child as the beneficiary easily corrects this mistake.
Congress requires that all qualified retirement plans—including IRAs, SEP-IRAs, 401(k) plans, and 403(b) plans—must allow an IRA Trust to be named as a beneficiary. By doing so, Congress allows you to form an IRA Trust for your child that allows the Inherited plan to remain tax-deferred.
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My friend died and his executor is allowing his hosting account to lapse. Could he have set aside funds to maintain his website?
It is possible to set up a trust to maintain the cost of a website. This needs to be carefully done to provide checks and balances to make sure the trustee carries out your intent. I find a trusted Protector an excellent and inexpensive tool. If a person has a website that he wishes to continue after death, it is important to make sure access data is easily available to the executor.
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: What if my future son-in-law refuses to sign a prenuptial agreement? Can he claim a share of what I leave my daughter?
If your daughter marries her fiancé without a prenuptial agreement, and commingles with her husband’s assets what she inherits from you, then—in a divorce—she may lose a share or all of her inheritance. Further, if she dies after receiving the inheritance, she may give all of her inheritance to her husband who is free to then leave those assets as he sees fit at his death.
Posted on Sun Oct 18, 2015, on Trusts
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: There seem to be many different types of trusts. Which one is the best to avoid probate?
Trusts are very flexible estate planning tools. They can be used to avoid creditors, shelter assets from divorce, reduce taxes, and to avoid probate. To avoid probate in New Jersey, you could use a Revocable Living Trust or you could use any number of different Irrevocable Trusts.
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: The term “Anchor Baby” is in the news, referring to parents coming to the USA to have a baby that automatically qualifies for citizenship simply by being born on American soil. Given that this is completely legal, and given that these parents obviously care about their child’s future and don’t want the child to be left in the USA without support, how can these parents plan ahead for the child’s care?
Any person on earth is able to form a protective trust in the United States for their child. The trust has to have a connection to the United States, so it will require a trustee located in the United States.
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I want to leave my long time partner my house. However, at his death I want it sold so the money can pass to my nieces. How can I make sure this happens?
This is a common issue with gay and lesbian couples. Often, one partner owns the house and—though they want their partner to be able to live in the house until the partner’s death — there is a concern about putting the house into the surviving partner’s name.
Posted on Tue Oct 13, 2015, on Trusts
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: What if my son-in-law refuses to sign a prenuptial agreement? Can he claim a share of what I leave my daughter?
If your daughter marries without a prenuptial agreement, then commingles what she inherits from you with her husband’s assets, then she may well lose some or all of that inheritance after a divorce. Further, when she dies, she may well leave all of her inheritance to her husband, who is then free to leave those assets as he sees fit at his death.
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I love my partner, but she is terrible with money. If I leave her an inheritance, it will be spent quickly and she will be left with nothing. How do I leave her an inheritance but protect it for her?
Recognizing your partner’s inability to handle money allows you to set up an estate plan that can help make sure that your partner will always have enough money. There are many ways to set up a trust for his benefit. The best option will depend on what type of assets you have and how much flexibility you wish to give the Trustee.
Posted on Fri Sep 4, 2015, on Trusts
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My second husband and I live in a house that I own outright. If I die, I want him to be able to live in the house as long as he chooses, but I want my children to inherit the house when he moves out or dies. How do I keep them from evicting him from the house?
Avoiding conflict between children from the first marriage and the second spouse can be challenging, but if you are honest about the personalities involved, there is usually a way to satisfy everyone. One option in your case is to form a trust in your will that holds your house.
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Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.
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