The "fiscal cliff" negotiations have come and gone, finally. And although many of our Michigan readers were probably glad to hear it, if for no other reason than hoping that the news might cover a different topic, many will not be able to move on from the negotiations as quickly as they would like. For tax planning purposes, some of the details of the deal that was reached should catch many of our readers' attention, and a recent article in Forbes explored those very details in depth. Some of the changes that will take effect will most likely further enhance the value of trusts in protecting inheritance.
Even though the bitter presidential election is now more than a month in our reader's rearview mirrors, no doubt many have been unable to escape the continuing political news out of our nation's capital. The discourse has been muddled and mostly unproductive, regardless of the fact that the decisions that need to be made could affect nearly every American's financial situation.
When it comes to tax planning, most Michigan residents probably all have the same goal: pay as little in taxes as possible. That can be easier said than done these days, especially with the uncertainty coming from the federal government over what exactly the tax structure of future years, or even next year, will be. However, one thing that our Michigan readers can be sure of is what the taxes for this year, 2012, will be. And, many may not be aware of a creative way to begin structuring their tax requirements around the use of trusts.
Protecting inheritance is important, and, when it comes to the potential for arguments among family members, the documents which are drafted specifically to distribute an inheritance can be of the utmost importance. That's why in one fight involving a high-profile individual, the fight was over almost as soon as it began.
It seems to be a sad reality in today's world that whenever a celebrity or famous person dies unexpectedly there will be a dispute about the persons' estate and assets. Most of our Michigan readers probably saw the huge problems that the death of Michael Jackson caused within his family, and now it appears some similar issues may be arising in the wake of the unexpected death of Whitney Houston.
The University of Michigan is in line to receive a substantial alumni donation, as recently deceased news legend Mike Wallace left the school a treasure trove of materials relating to his professional career.
Any of our Michigan readers who are familiar with previous posts know that sometimes estate planning can be complicated. When the idea of trusts is thrown in, many probably think that things are getting really complicated.
Ever heard of the "sandwich generation"? Most of our Michigan readers probably haven't, but apparently this is the term that some use to refer to the children of baby boomers, mostly because these are the people who will find themselves supporting both their parents as they age and require long-term care, and their own children as they set out to attend college.
Readers in Oakland County likely already realize that a will is a primary estate planning tool. A will can be the bedrock around which all other estate planning devices revolve. Wills are known for helping estate planners avoid intestacy and carefully designate how property should be distributed to heirs and beneficiaries.
There is a plethora of estate planning options for Detroit residents who want to avoid probate litigation and reduce personal liability. Neither lawsuits over personal property nor family strife pertaining to the distribution of assets are desirable consequences of estate planning. In particular, Michigan real estate owners may want to consider a few important tools for avoiding future problems with probate.