Ensuring you have a well-designed strategy to safeguard your valuable assets and property is of utmost importance, and this often requires utilizing tailored tools that suit your unique circumstances. One option to explore within your estate planning is the inclusion of a limited liability company (LLC) to safeguard certain accounts and property.
Understanding a limited liability company (LLC)
A limited liability company (LLC) is a business structure that allows for the ownership of diverse accounts and property. Its ownership rests with the members who contribute either funds or assets to the LLC. The nature of an LLC can vary based on the number of individuals involved, resulting in either a single-member or multi-member configuration. The management of the LLC can be conducted by individual members or by a manager elected by the members.
Expanding the scope of ownership for an LLC
An LLC can own more than just a business. It can also hold various types of accounts and property, such as:
Real estate: Whether it's a second home, rental property, or a property passed down for generations, an LLC can own it.
Investments: An LLC can be used to pool the funds of multiple individuals and invest in assets with a larger volume.
Expensive or high-risk assets: Items like airplanes and boats can be owned by an LLC to provide liability protection.
The advantages of including an LLC in your estate plan
Including an LLC in your estate plan can offer several benefits, with asset protection being one of the key considerations. As an LLC is considered a separate legal entity, its creditors typically can only pursue the LLC's assets and property, not those of the LLC members. Properly setting up and maintaining the LLC can help prevent personal creditors of the members from accessing the LLC's accounts and property to satisfy their claims. Please keep in mind that certain states may not offer the same degree of protection against personal creditors for single-member LLCs. In such cases, personal creditors may pursue the LLC interests to satisfy their claims, as there are no other members who would be negatively impacted by the seizure of the LLC's assets and property.
When your assets are owned by an LLC, any property or accounts transferred to it during your lifetime, or transferred through operation of law upon your death, can bypass the costly and time-consuming probate process. Probate only handles the transfer of assets that were solely owned by you at the time of your death. By utilizing an LLC, the accounts and property are owned by the LLC, not by you. However, if you hold membership interest in your name, the transfer of this interest at the time of your death may require going through the probate process.
Incorporating an LLC into your estate plan
The process of incorporating an LLC into your estate plan involves creating the LLC during your lifetime and transferring your accounts and property to the LLC or designating it as the beneficiary of your accounts and property upon your death. You can also purchase property or open accounts in the name of the LLC. As the individual establishing the LLC, you will assume the role of a member, and depending on the chosen management structure, you may have the opportunity to oversee the operations of the LLC. If you are married, your spouse can also become a member, and you have the flexibility to include additional members in the LLC at a later stage. However, adding members who don't contribute their money or property may result in gift tax consequences. The LLC will own the accounts and property, and it will operate as a separate entity from its members, providing a level of asset protection. Upon your death, the transfer of ownership interest in the LLC may be the only necessary step, and the accounts and property owned by the LLC will remain under its ownership.
Operating Agreement for LLCs in Estate Planning
LLCs generally have an operating agreement that sets out the rules for managing and transferring a member's interest in the LLC. If you currently own an LLC without an operating agreement or need to update it, it is recommended that you contact an experienced business law attorney with expertise in estate planning as soon as possible. When incorporating estate planning into your operating agreement, consider including the following provisions:
1. The identification of the LLC members.
2. The percentage of ownership each member holds.
3. The procedure for resolving conflicts between members.
4. Any restrictions on a member's ability to transfer their membership interest, including transfers to a trust.
5. The fate of a member's interest if they pass away (in most cases, the terms of the operating agreement govern).
Trust Agreement for LLC Membership Interest
A Trust Agreement can provide an additional layer of protection for your LLC membership interest within your estate plan. By transferring your membership interest to a revocable living trust, you can act as the creator, trustee, and beneficiary of the trust. This arrangement allows you to continue managing the LLC and enjoying its benefits as the trustee of the trust, rather than as an individual. Since the trust becomes the owner of the membership interest, transferring it won't require going through the probate process, as the trust itself doesn't die. Even after your death, the trust can continue to own the membership interest as specified in its instructions. It can include provisions for a successor trustee to manage the LLC on behalf of the trust's beneficiaries. Alternatively, you can instruct the trust to distribute the membership interest to a designated beneficiary at a specified time or upon your death, granting them control over the membership interest. If you're considering creating a trust agreement, it's advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure it aligns with your goals and objectives.
Best Practices for Using an LLC in Estate Planning
To fully capitalize on the advantages offered by an LLC in your estate plan, it's crucial to adhere to all the rules and regulations associated with its operation. Since an LLC is a separate legal entity, it should be treated as such. This entails following specific formalities, such as submitting your annual report to the relevant state government office and maintaining distinct records of all transactions and meetings involving the LLC. It's equally important to keep your personal finances and assets separate from those of the LLC. Avoid using the LLC's bank account as your personal fund to maintain clear separation and protect the integrity of the LLC.
Commencing January 1, 2024, reporting companies that are classified as LLCs will need to submit a Beneficial Ownership Information Report to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Department of the Treasury. This report should include the name, birthdate, address, and unique identification number of all beneficial owners of the LLC, along with an acceptable identification document's image and issuing jurisdiction. A beneficial owner is an individual who possesses or exercises significant control over 25% or more of the ownership interest in the company. For LLCs formed after January 1, 2024, company applicants must provide their name, birthdate, address, unique identification number, issuing jurisdiction, and image of an acceptable identification document. A company applicant refers to the individual who creates the entity or registers it to do business in the United States (for foreign reporting companies) or the person mainly responsible for directing or controlling another individual's submission of the document.
What are your next steps in estate planning?
If you aim to protect your assets and secure your family's future, taking the necessary steps is paramount. Crafting a well-designed estate plan tailored to your unique needs can be instrumental in achieving your objectives. If you're interested in learning more about how incorporating an LLC can assist you in.
We extend our warmest congratulations on your new home purchase. Whether this is your first time buying a home or an upgrade/downsize, acquiring a new home is a significant event that brings about change in your life. Properly prepare for the worst by protecting your newest accomplishment. Here are three essential tips to keep in mind now that you have the keys to your new home, including important considerations for estate planning.
1. Make Sure to Update Your Address
After moving into your new home, it is crucial to update your address with the relevant authorities. Start with visiting your local United States Postal Office to obtain a form for change of address. Alternatively, you can update your address online. This step will help the postal service forward your mail to your new address.
It is also a crucial step in protecting your property to update your address with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by filling out Form 8822. This will ensure that you receive all important tax notices and refunds. Additionally, make sure to update your address with your local state tax agency.
2. Ensure Consistency Between Your Home Title and Estate Plan
One aspect of new homeownership that often goes overlooked is the need to align your home title with your estate planning objectives. After purchasing your new home, review the deed to confirm how the property is titled. Next, review your estate planning documents to ensure the property has been titled correctly to achieve your estate planning goals.
For instance, if your previous plan included a specific provision for the distribution of your old property, you will need to update this provision to reflect the current status. Similarly, if you have a trust-based estate plan to avoid probate, you will need to confirm that your new property is titled in the name of the trust and not in your individual name. Ensuring consistency between your home title and estate plan will help protect your assets and ensure your wishes are carried out effectively.
3. Review Your Life Insurance Policy and Beneficiary Designations
If you have a mortgage payment to make on your new home, it's likely you'll have a large monthly expense to pay off each month. To safeguard your loved ones, it is important to review your life insurance coverage. Ensure you have adequate life insurance coverage to address the mortgage payment in the event of your passing, particularly if you have a surviving spouse or children who are likely to remain in the home. Even if they decide not to reside in the property, life insurance can offer valuable resources during a potentially emotionally difficult period. Even if they choose not to stay in the home, life insurance can provide valuable assets during what can be an emotionally challenging time.
It's also a good idea to review your beneficiary designations. Life changes can happen quickly, and this may be overlooked. If your designations don't match up with the rest of your estate plan, you might inadvertently disinherit a family member or have the money go directly to an individual without any guidance.
Finally, with your new home comes the need for homeowner's insurance. Contact your insurance agent to confirm that you are receiving all eligible discounts. Many insurance providers offer package discounts when you combine services. By already having car insurance with the same company as your homeowner's insurance, you may qualify for a lower rate compared to purchasing each policy separately. Additionally, homeowners often receive discounts that renters do not.
We understand that buying a new home is a significant milestone, and we are here to assist you. If you need help aligning your new purchase with your estate planning goals, contact us today. We can ensure that your new home and estate planning are aligned to achieve your objectives, including the important aspect of estate planning for homeowners.
For over a quarter of a century, the National Safety Council has designated June as a
month of paramount importance - a time to honor and prioritize safety at a national
level. This annual celebration, known as National Safety Month, serves as a powerful
reminder of the critical role that safety plays in our lives.
The aim of this month-long campaign is to increase public awareness about the most
significant safety and health risks faced by people in the United States. While many
people are aware of common safety hazards, such as physical injuries, they may not
realize that incapacity or death can result in substantial financial and emotional
consequences for themselves and their families. A revocable living trust is a legal tool
that can help protect you and your loved ones from the costs, uncertainty, and chaos
that may arise in the event of your incapacity or death.
Protection by a Revocable Living Trust for Yourself
Just like anyone else, you face the risk of experiencing a catastrophic accident or illness
that could leave you incapable of taking care of yourself or your loved ones. This
incapacity might be temporary, or it could last until your eventual death. The total cost of
incapacity can be difficult to calculate and can include lost wages, as well as the
expenses of required medical care. These expenses may include requiring assistance
with daily activities such as bathing, eating or dressing. However, it can quickly become
very costly - the average cost of assisted living in the United States in 2020 was
approximately $4,300 per month.
A revocable living trust is an essential legal tool that helps protect you and your loved
ones by providing instructions for how you will be financially supported during your
incapacity. With a revocable living trust, you can choose who will manage your finances
when you are no longer able to handle them yourself. There’s no better time than now
to establish a revocable living trust because it is revocable, which means that you can
change it at any time and alter it as your life circumstances change, as long as you have
the mental capacity.
Protection by a Revocable Living Trust for Your Loved Ones
Your loved ones’ financial and emotional well-being is also protected by a revocable
living trust. It ensures that your wishes are clearly outlined for what should happen in
the event of your incapacity or death. This prevents your loved ones from having to speculate
on your desires or worse, having to follow state law to determine who should handle your finances and end-of-life affairs.
Probate fees, which vary significantly by state, can also be very expensive. For
example, in California, attorney and executor fees for probating an $800,000 home
could be as high as $38,000, as set by law. A revocable living trust can help avoid
probate and those high accompanying fees.
Revocable living trusts also offer privacy protection. Without the instructions provided in
these trusts, family members often have to resort to public court proceedings. This
means that the court and other curious individuals may pry into your private affairs.
Furthermore, these types of trusts can provide basic martial deduction planning to
maximize the use of you and your spouse’s estate tax exemptions. This helps to reduce
your loved ones’ estate tax burden, after your death. Finally, by using this legal tool, you
can protect the money you leave to your loved ones from their creditors.
Properly Funding Your Revocable Living Trust
To ensure that a revocable living trust serves its intended purpose, it must be properly
funded. This means that any property you own must be transferred to the trust, or for
certain assets, the trust must be named as the beneficiary. Failure to properly fund your
trust may result in the need for probate. To avoid this, it is essential to review any
correspondence you have received from your attorney regarding which accounts and
properties should be owned by the trust or designated as beneficiaries. It is especially a
good time to do this in the month of June, which is National Safety Month!
Given the importance of the instructions contained in a revocable living trust, it is
advisable to review them annually to ensure that they still align with your final wishes. If
changes are necessary, it is recommended that you seek assistance from a
professional to update your trust accordingly. This will ensure that your trust continues
to serve you and your loved ones during times of incapacity and after your passing.
An estate plan consists of several parts and considerations, including a living trust. A living trust is a legal arrangement set up during a person’s lifetime that places their assets into a trust overseen by a trustee. The living trust also determines how the trustor’s assets will be distributed once they pass or become incapacitated. Some factors that may cause someone to create a trust range from tax benefits and avoiding probate to caring for family members with special needs. See how working with an estate planning attorney to create a living trust will help your family.
Avoiding probate is the most common reason for seeking out a living trust. Probate is the courts’ process of proving a will is accepted as a valid document that can be used to effectively distribute assets. There are several reasons in which you would want to avoid probate. The first is that probate can be a costly way to transfer your assets upon death. There are multiple parties that may need to be paid out during a probate proceeding, including the court, which add up quickly.
Probate is also a very lengthy process. It can take six to nine months (sometimes longer) to fully go through probate. There are many factors, documents, and people involved in the probate process, so it’s easy for complications to arise. Problems such as a contested will or an inability to find clear records of all of the deceased's assets and debts can extend this timeline.
Lastly, your probate proceedings will be publicly recorded for the court, meaning your case will become public knowledge and will be available to anyone. This significantly limits you and your family’s privacy which is not ideal during a family member's death.
A living trust provides tax savings to those estates that are subject to estate or gift taxes. There are many types of trusts to choose from, but the most common are irrevocable trusts and revocable trusts. A revocable living trust allows you to make amendments and changes to the documents as necessary, even during the trustor’s life. An irrevocable trust cannot be amended after the document has been signed, but it does offer significant transfer tax benefits that are not subject to the typical gift tax requirements. When you work with us, we'll make sure to align the type of trust with your family's tax-saving needs and other goals.
When it comes to your trust, it’s important for you to understand that a trust only controls assets that are put, or funded, into the trust. Living trusts need to be continually updated to accommodate changes such as marriage, childbirth, home purchases, and tax laws that could affect the trust. With a living trust, the trustor is able to amend the document to reflect their wishes. Because of this, it’s crucial that you work closely with your estate planning attorney to make sure your assets are properly aligned with your trust. This will not only help you get organized, but it will also make things easier for your heirs when you pass away.
Call our office at (775) 823-9455 or visit us online at wealth-counselors.com to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Probate is the legal process of estate administration. We practice law in Nevada, and in our state, the probate court in the county that the decedent resided in would supervise the process.
In this blog post, we will provide some answers to frequently asked questions about probate.
In an estate planning context, probate exists to provide supervision when an estate is being administered. If the last will is used as a vehicle of asset transfer, an executor would be named to administer the estate. The will would be admitted to probate, and the administration process would get underway.
The court is involved to protect interested parties. To explain by way of example, let’s assume that a friend borrowed $100,000 from you. Unfortunately, he passes away in a car accident before he could pay you. His family does not know about this debt, and they don’t particularly like you.
If there was no supervision, they could just distribute the resources that are contained in your friend’s estate and leave you out in the cold. Probate exists to give creditors a chance to come forward seeking satisfaction. The executor is required to notify creditors about the passing of the decedent.
Another form of protection that is provided by probate is the ability to challenge the validity of a will. There are some instances where challenges are very legitimate, and there would be no window of opportunity if the probate process was not in place.
Intestacy is another situation that can enter the picture when someone passes away without a last will or any other estate planning document. Under these circumstances, the probate court would take control of the situation, and ultimately, the assets in the estate would be distributed under intestate laws of succession.
There are certain types of postmortem asset transfers that are not subject to the probate process. If you have life insurance, the company would deliver the proceeds to the beneficiary directly. The court would have no involvement. This is also true if you have named a beneficiary to assume ownership of the remainder that is left in your individual retirement account after your passing. When you open a bank account, you have the option of adding a beneficiary. This is called a transfer on death or payable on death account. Brokerage accounts also offer this option. When you have this type of account, the beneficiary cannot access the funds while you are alive.
For payable on death accounts, the beneficiary would obtain a death certificate. It would be presented to the bank or brokerage, and the beneficiary would assume ownership of the assets. The court would not be involved.
It is possible to add someone to the title or deed of your home as a co-owner. This is called joint tenancy, and it comes with right of survivorship. If you do this, the person that you add as a joint tenant would become the sole owner of the home after you die. This transfer would not be subject to the probate process.
A revocable living trust is another estate planning tool that is very useful, and it is a good alternative to a last will. You can consolidate assets with this type of trust, and you can instruct the trustee to distribute assets over an extended period of time if you choose to do so. It is also possible to name someone to manage the assets in the trust if you ever become incapacitated.
In addition to these benefits, assets in a living trust can be distributed to the beneficiaries outside of probate. The same thing is true with assets that are in some other type of trust.
There are some drawbacks that go along with the process. It will take close to a year to run its course, and the inheritors do not receive their inheritances during this interim. There are expenses that reduce the amount of the inheritances that will be received, and it is an open proceeding, so privacy is lost.
If you would like to build on your estate planning knowledge, download our worksheet. It is being offered free of charge right now, and you can click this link to gain access to your copy.
Q: What is Probate?
A: Probate is designed to create a “final accounting” upon death. It is the legal process of “proving up” a Will, or verifying that a Will is valid, takes place in one of two instances. First, if a person dies leaving behind a Will, or second, if the deceased has died intestate, that is, has not left behind a Will or estate plan of any type or the Will cannot be found.
Q: Does the Probate process take a long time?
A: Depending on the complexity of the estate and the thoroughness with which accounting has been carried out before death, probate can either be a relatively simple task or a daunting one. Be aware that no matter the situation, probate may be a lengthy process often taking months or possibly years to play out, and one which may take a considerable amount of an executor’s time.
To summarize the process, probate can be broken into six basic steps:
Each of these steps involve legal documentation and validation, and more importantly, proper accounting each step of the way.
Q : What is Probate Court?
A: Probate begins and ends with the special Probate Court set up in each state to handle estate issues. (Sometimes known as the Orphan’s or Chancery Court in certain states.) All actions taken regarding the estate are accountable to this court, and must be noted and reported regularly. This court is staffed by special judges qualified to oversee estate resolution issues.
Q: Does the Trust Administration process take a long time?
A: To summarize the process, trust administration can be broken into five basic steps:
Although the trust administration process seems relatively straightforward, there are several reasons it can sometimes be drawn out over several months or even years. The first step, the inventory of assets, must be completed before the trust administration can begin, and this can be difficult to complete depending upon the prior organization and the size and complexity of the decedent’s assets. Next, the 706 estate tax return must be filed within 9 months, or 15 months if an extension is filed. Often, it is prudent to wait until the last minute to file this form. If the spouse of the decedent is in failing health and may pass away before the deadline, then both 706 forms can be used to maximize tax advantages to the estate. The final step, asset distribution, cannot take place until the 706 has been filed, and even then should not take place until the “Closing Letter” is received from the IRS certifying acceptance of the 706 return. This closing letter will take a minimum of 6 to 8 months, and as long as 3 years, to arrive after the 706 is filed. In addition, there may be a state estate or inheritance tax return required, even if a federal return is not required.
Q: I thought that a living trust avoids probate and attorney fees. Why do I have to pay more fees?
A: While having a living trust can significantly reduce costs compared to probate, there is still a considerable amount of work to be done in properly administering even a simple living trust. The services of an attorney are required, and that person or firm should be compensated fairly for their services. It is important to remember that the fees allowed for trust administration are usually much lower than those for probate, and there is generally less work involved, as there is less involvement of the courts and state bureaucracy.
Q: Can I pick and choose what assets go into the “B” trust?
A: The answer depends upon the language of the trust document. Certain trusts include “pick and choose” language that allows trustees to selectively place assets into the “B” trust.
Q: How do I transfer the car(s) into my name?A: If you are a relative of the deceased, this is simple in most states. To transfer the title of vehicles owned by the deceased, simply take the death certificate to the DMV, and perform the transfer, paying whatever fees they require. If not a relative, bringing along the will and or any trust documents indicating your status should be sufficient.
Q: What do I do about Social Security?
A: Social Security will continue to send out benefit checks until they are notified of an individual’s death. The executor/spouse/trustee should contact the local Social Security Administration office and notify them of the death, or if a benefit check is received, send it back with a letter notifying them. This is important. If checks continue to be deposited, the recipient can incur liability later when Social Security learns of the recipient’s death.
The last will is a document that most people are familiar with and is the most common estate planning tool. In fact, many movies have romanticized the proverbial "reading" of the last will of a deceased family member. We can all imagine a family gathered in a lawyers office as the will is read, letting each person know what they received, or did not receive, from the estate.
Most people know that there are other legal instruments that can be utilized. But a lot of them are under the impression that only people of extraordinary wealth need to step outside of the tried-and-true last will as a primary vehicle of asset transfer.
In reality, people of ordinary means may want to consider alternatives to a last will when they are making plans for the future. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most compelling one is the fact that your estate must be probated if you use a last will.
The process of probate can slow things down considerably. During this interim the probate court examines the will in an effort to determine whether or not it is valid. So, at this time interested parties who may not agree with the contents of the will could step forward and present challenges. This can result in a long and drawn out legal struggle. Just think back to the case of Anna Nicole Smith. That battle was just resolved last summer some 15 years after it began.
Probate is also a source of asset erosion. There are costs that the estate will incur while it is being probated. Depending on the size of the estate, the nature of the assets contained therein, and whether or not there are any challenges costs could reach 4-8% of the total value of the estate and in some cases even more.
Most people are not going to be fully informed when they start making plans for the future. The worst way to plan is to rely on Hollywood's representation of what an estate plan should look like. The best way to gain an understanding of how to proceed given the unique nature of your circumstances is to consult with an experienced, savvy estate planning attorney.
Before we take a look at a couple of simple probate avoidance tools, let's examine the reasons why people avoid probate in the first place. For one thing, probate can be quite time-consuming. Depending on the complexity of the estate and whether or not the will is being challenged it can take anywhere from 6-9 months to even multiple years in complicated cases. In addition to the time involved, probate can be expensive, consuming up to 5% of your estate, in addition to extraordinary costs, again depending on the complexity of the matter and the size and scope of your assets.
So if you want to save time and money you may want to arrange for the transfer of assets outside of probate. One way to do this is through the creation of pay on death accounts. You simply open the account at a bank or financial institution of your choosing and name a beneficiary. Should you pass away, your beneficiary would assume ownership of the funds in the account, and this transfer would take place outside of probate. It's as simple as that.
In some states, including Nevada, you can execute a deed conveying your real proeprty to a beneficiary upon your death. Even though the deed is recorded while your are alive the conveyance does not occur until after your death.
Another way to transfer assets to your loved ones outside of probate is to give tax-free gifts. You can give up to $13,000 to an unlimited number of recipients each year free of the gift tax, in essence giving loved ones a part of their inheritance while you are still alive and before probate would be a factor. Other tax free gifts can be made.
And finally, purchasing life insurance is also a very simple but effective and efficient way to provide inheritances to your family members outside of the process of probate.
These ideas are something to keep in mind as you are contemplating your legacy. But in the end, the best way to implement a comprehensive probate avoidance strategy is with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney who will recommend the ideal combination of estate planning tools given the unique nature of your situation.
There are many "tools" to choose from when establishing your estate plan. One traditional option is the Will. If you research information about Wills you will find Internet marketing sites that will sell you a "one-size-fits-all" template. To hear them tell it, drawing up a Will is a simple matter but there's more to it than meets the eye.
If you pass away leaving a Will as your estate plan your estate will pass through a probate procedure. The probate court will examine your Will to ensure its validity and proper execution. During this process interested parties will have an opportunity to contest your Will. In this case the Court would schedule a hearing to review the matter. Obviously, when you're planning your estate you don't want your will to be contested; you want your wishes to be carried out to the letter.
Each state has different laws surrounding the formalities of drafting and executing a Will and the process of probate. If you were to use some sort of general template as a Will there is no telling whether or not it will wind up being ironclad once it is probated in the State Court. Reno probate lawyers make a career out of working with the probate courts in northern Nevada, and we understand exactly how to construct documents that are specifically targeted for the local Court. Providing for your loved ones after you pass away is a serious matter that requires a an experienced estate planning attorney.
Probate is a legal process wherein a court oversees the distribution of a deceased person's estate to the heirs or beneficiaries of the estate after the payment of all debts, obligations and funeral expenses. A Nevada probate proceeding helps fulfill the wishes of the deceased as specified in a will. In case there is no will, the distribution of the deceased’s estate is made according to the applicable state laws.
The time required to complete the probate process depends on several factors including:
With the above factors in mind, the probate process may be completed in nine to twelve months or may take years. The probate process can be delayed if the validity of the will is contested, if there are disputes relating to the settlement of the debt of the deceased, or if there is a delay in finding beneficiaries. Tax issues can also delay a probate process.
The cost of the Nevada probate process may be set by the applicable state laws or by practice and therefore differs from state to state and case to case. The general costs included are:
Although some of these charges are fixed per state law, legal and accounting fees can be negotiated. However, in case of any type of disputes or litigation, the probate process may continue for months, if not years, and involve a number of additional costs.
To learn more about probate and Nevada probate laws, speak with a probate attorney at Anderson, Dorn & Rader. Our Reno law firm also provides free reports that further explain a probate.
With a Roth IRA, your contributions (and the interest they earn) can be withdrawn tax-free. While this tax benefit may be the most significant aspect it offers a few more perks as well.
For starters, the Roth IRA is a contact that directs the payment of the balance of the account at your death to your designated beneficiary. So any funds that remain in the account when you die can be passed to your designated beneficiary without probate. But unlike other retirement plans, it doesn’t require you to begin withdrawing money at age 70 ½.
With a traditional IRA, for example, you must make minimum withdrawals beginning at age 70 ½. This amount will vary depending upon your age and the age of your designated beneficiary. The reason for this requirement is to ensure that you – not your beneficiary – receives the bulk of the funds in your IRA before you pass on.
A Roth IRA, however, doesn’t require you to withdraw any funds. So, unless you need the money, you can just leave it in account where it will continue to grow. Upon your death, all the funds will pass to your beneficiary, income tax-free.
To learn about more ways to avoid probate, contact the Reno, NV probate lawyers at Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. today!
While a living trust and living will may sound similar they are actually two quite different things.
A living trust is designed to help protect and distribute your assets. The assets are actually titled in the name of the trust and depending upon the terms of your trust, you may have complete control or hand the management of the trust over to someone else. Upon your death, beneficiaries receive the assets according to your terms in the trust. A method of avoiding probate, it’s a way of bypassing the lengthy and often expensive court process of distributing your assets.
A living will, however, is a legal way of informing your physician what you want done in case of a terminal condition. It’s used when you can no longer communicate your wishes due to an injury or illness that leaves you incapacitated. Your living will should be accompanied by a health care power of attorney. This document designates a person to speak on your behalf and relay your wishes with regard to certain medical treatments and decisions. It might relate to resuscitation, feeding tubes, etc. These "advance directives" also give loved ones peace of mind knowing that they are doing what you would have wanted.
It’s highly recommended that everyone draw up advance directives including a living will and a health care power of attorney, whereas a living trust is especially beneficial for those with a certain level of assets. To get help with a living will or living trust, a good estate planning attorney is your best bet.