How To Avoid or Reduce Estate Taxes

Estate taxes do not, by and large, affect the vast majority of Americans, but to those who plan to leave millions upon their death, it pays in spades to understand recent changes to federal estate tax laws so that you can avoid, or at least reduce, estate tax liability.

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How To Provide for Funeral Expenses

Funeral costs are an expensive and unanticipated burden for many families. Plan to pay for funeral expenses through a living will which can instruct the family about a specific account set aside for expenses or request that some assets be sold to pay for the funeral. Life insurance provides a viable and realistic means of providing for your funeral costs. For those whose families do not have the means to pay for funeral costs, body donation may be a viable option. The final option for those who desire to provide for their own funeral expenses is to pre-plan and pre-pay the expenses before you die.

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How To Change a Beneficiary on a Life Insurance Policy

A life insurance beneficiary is an assigned person who will receive payment of your life insurance money in the event of your death. In most circumstances, a life insurance beneficiary change is as easy as contacting your agent and filling out a new beneficiary form. However, there are some circumstances when the process can be more involved.

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How To Take Care of a Mentally Disabled Child Through a Trust

A special needs trust is formed with the intent of providing for a mentally disabled beneficiary after you die. Without a trust, the property given to the child in your will would be controlled by a guardian who has the discretion to use the property as necessary for the care of the child. A special needs trust, on the other hand, is controlled by a trustee who releases property for specific situations that are enumerated in the trust document, allowing greater access generally to the property for the disabled child.

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How To Give Property to Children Before Death

You don’t have to wait until you pass away to give your wealth to your family. In fact, in the case of large estates, it is frequently in your best interests to take advantage of the gift tax exemption and to be generous with your children before you die. Otherwise, a large portion of your money will go to the IRS instead of your children.

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How To Leave Money in a Trust for a Spouse or Child

You create a trust to provide for those who you do not trust with money. Trusts offer the advantage of creating specific boundaries for release of funds while protecting the rest of the money and property from creditors. Even more advantageous, if you plan properly, you can also eliminate the estate taxes on the trust and leave more wealth behind for your family, and less for tax collectors’ pockets.

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