Blog

Your Estate Plan and Why It Matters

No one wants to think about the worst happening, however, it’s important to always prepare for the worst. But how does an individual preserve their estate? This is a question that many do not have knowledge about and as a result, families are left with a mess. Alpha Omega Family Services encourages anyone with assets, whether big or small, to take advantage of Estate Planning.

Estate Planning consists of certain arrangements designed to preserve an individual’s estate, avoid probate at death, minimize potential taxes/fees, and minimize or prevent disputes and challenges to your wishes, so that your estate is passed along to your heirs efficiently and effectively. If you fail to draw up an estate plan, the state can make the decision of where your assets go.

For more information on Living Trusts and Estate Planning, visit our seminar locations page to find a Free Living Trust seminar nearest you.

Advertisements

Are You Prepared For The Worst?

Many of us don’t want to think about death, no matter what age we are. Of course, leaving your family and friends behind is a scary thought, but we must always prepare for. The proper way to protect your assets is to start estate planning. The benefits of setting up a trust is that it preserves your estate, ensures continuity of management of your affairs in case of incapacity, avoids probate at death plus much more.

However, not every estate plan is a good one. In order to obtain a good estate plan that coordinates the future of your home, savings, investments etc., you will need a professional to help guide you along the way. Services specialize in helping homeowners properly prepare for the worst, yet keep their trusts and estates protected in the long run. If you are interested in setting up a Living Trust, visit our seminar location section on our homepage to find a Free seminar nearest you.

If you’re interested in setting up a trust, visit our Free living trust seminar section on our homepage to find a seminar nearest you.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

What You Need to Know About Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance

capital gains tax

What is a Capital Gains Tax?

As you seen from the image above, Capital Gains Tax is a tax on the profits made by the selling of assets from either a company or individual. Most common CGT comes from the sale of stocks, bonds, and property. Each country has their own set of criteria when it comes to the amount of taxes.

For residents of the United States, individuals and businesses pay a U.S. federal income tax on the net worth of their capital gains. The tax rate depends on your tax bracket and the amount of time the investment was held. There are short-term capital gains which are defined as investments held for a year or less and are taxed at the investor’s normal rate. Long-term capital gains are any investment held for more than a year and are taxed at a lower rate.

Inheritors are subjected to different criteria than those who originally owned the assets.

Inherited Capital Gains

Many individuals inherit stocks and bonds when a loved one passes. They are not exempt from paying Capital Gains but the terms differ than if you purchased the investments yourself. Often times, inheritors pay a CGT on profits made from the moment the stock was purchased by the deceased to the time of their passing.

Inheriting a Business and Capital Gains

CGT must also be paid when inheriting a business as well. Gains on a property are calculated by using the original cost of the property. Since the inheritor did not purchase the property originally then they must use something called a basis. The basis is considered the value of the property on the date of passing of the original owner. Anything amount going over the basis when the property is sold is taxable.

How a Living Trust Benefits the Inheritor

A living trust has it advantages when it comes to capital gain. As you have seen above, all of the taxable gains are calculated on the date in which the benefactor passes. This ensures that the gain is less than what the beneficiaries would pay in any other event.

When passing on your assets you hope that they will benefit your inheritors. A living trust is your best chance at achieving this. At Learn Living Trust, we can help you navigate the creation of a living trust.

Ease Your Loved One’s Grief with a Living Trust

living trust

The loss of a loved one is not an event that one can truly prepare for. It takes a mental and emotional toll on the bereaved. During the aftermath of losing someone who was close to you, making decisions about their estate or funeral plans adds more strain.

Before your passing occurs, you can make the grieving process easier on your loved ones by creating a living trust.

How a Living Trust Can Aid in the Grieving Process

Whether you need to get your affairs in order or simply want to prepare in the event of an accident, drawing up a will is important. It will ensure all of your wishes are performed when you pass.

As stated before, the grief felt after losing a loved one can make decision-making that much harder. With a living trust, your partner and children will have a clear idea of what you wanted.

The stress can start before you have passed. If an accident or illness causes you to end up in the hospital unable to voice your wishes, a living trust can do it for you. You can establish a trustee who will carry out what you wanted. For example, your will should specify whether you want to be placed on life support or not.

Include your funeral plans in your living trust. Specify how you want to be buried (buried or cremated) and where (funeral plot or scattered ashes). If you feel inclined, you can include more information such as where you would like services to be held, who you would like to speak, and a choice of clothing. If you have planned other aspects of your passing, such as money for the funeral, then you can include this in the trust as well.

The sad fact about a death occurring in the family is that it can lead to families fighting among themselves for possessions or money you have left behind. Again, this is an added stress that your loved ones do not need. In your living trust, you can specify what goes to whom.

Why a Living Trust Over a Will?

Often time, we will steer those who are looking to make a will to draw up a living trust instead. Why? This is due to probate. Wills go into probate before anything in the document can be carried out. Everything you wanted will be put on halt until your assets are in order.

How Do I Create a Living Trust?

If you are at a loss as to how to create a trust then look to a professional. At Learn Living Trust, we can help you plan your estate and create a living trust. Why a living trust and not a will? We suggest a trust since a will requires a probate period which can halt the process significantly and lend more stress onto your loved ones. For more information, please visit our site.

The Difference between a Will and a Trust

will and trust

Discerning Between a Will and a Trust

There is a general confusion amongst individuals when it comes to wills and trusts. This is due to the fact that people know that both documents are used to pass on assets along to other people. While they are both related, wills and trusts are different and serve different purposes.

What is a Will?

A will is designed to do several things in the event of your death.
First, it gives specific instructions on how your assets and property are to be distributed after you pass away. It will also act as a comprehensive list of all the property and assets you own. It must be written and signed by you (testator) and a witness.
Second, the will name your beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are those who will inherit your property and assets.
Third, it enables you to choose an executor of your estate. This person will manage the distribution of your assets. When you do not create a will, a court will appoint an individual called an administrator to handle the distribution.
Fourth, a will establishes a legal guardian for your children. A guardian will care for your minors or help guide a young adult left with a few of your assets.
When you pass without creating a will, know that the courts will determine beneficiaries and distribute your property how they see fit. If you have minor children, the court will also appoint their guardian. If you have very specific wishes, a will is the only way to guarantee they are implemented in the event of your death.

What is a Trust?

A trust is similar only in terms of a person passing on their property to a trustee, who holds the property for a beneficiary. As you can see, a trust involves several individuals.
The grantor creates the trust, the trustee manages the property, and the beneficiaries will eventually benefit from the trust. One reason people make a trust is to avoid probate when they pass away. Your trusts will not move once they are put into a trust, meaning all physical property will remain where it sits and all accounts are not touched, they will only be moved once given to your beneficiaries. Until then, you continue to have access to your property.

Estate Planning Services

Planning your estate can be tricky but can be done with ease with the help of a professional. At Alpha Omega Family Services, we can guide you through the process. Please visit our site for more information here.