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January 2016 Archives

Planning to leave an inheritance to the ex?

A great many Tennessee residents will go through at least one divorce during the course of their lives. Many will walk away from that experience and cut all ties with their former spouse. Others will maintain a civil discourse with their ex, often for the purpose of raising shared children. Some might even remain friends after the dust has settled and the ink has dried. Very few, however, will intentionally leave an inheritance to their former husband or wife, although that is an outcome that can occur if the proper precautions are not taken.

Estate planning for couples without children

Many couples in Tennessee choose to build their family unit around each other, and make the decision to not have children. For these families, estate planning needs differ from those of a family with one or more kids and grandchildren. Within the estate planning industry, these couples are known as "DINK" families, which stands for Dual Income No Kids. These couples may not be focused on passing down wealth to children or grandchildren, but they still need to address estate planning in a timely manner.

Inheritance equality is a complex subject

Many Tennessee parents try to achieve equality when structuring their estate plans, and it often becomes swiftly apparent that finding a perfect solution is a difficult prospect. In a perfect world, all children within a family would be at similar stages in their lives and would have achieved similar levels of success. In reality, however, families are complex structures that require complex inheritance solutions.

Upstream gifting can be a powerful estate tax tool

When an individual leaves behind a considerable estate, the assets that exceed the current $5.43 million exemption are subject to federal estate taxes. A great deal of effort goes into reducing an individual or couple's estate in order to avoid paying excessive taxes. One often overlooked tool in attaining that goal is known as "upstream gifting." This practice not only reduces estate tax, but also saves Tennessee heirs from paying high capital gains tax.

Use gifts to address inheritance needs and avoid estate tax

As the year has come to a close, many in Tennessee are turning their attention to their finances for 2015 and looking ahead for changes that should be made in the coming year. In regard to estate planning, many families are ready to begin implementing plans to pass on an inheritance to loved ones. Doing so in a manner that also helps to reduce or avoid estate taxes is a top priority for some.

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