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Hooper Law Office,LLC Estate Planning Blog

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When Should I Start Planning For Long Term Care?

The first steps should be taken right now. The best approach is to have your care paid by insurance and the sooner you investigate what is offered, the more options you will have and the less it will cost. Long term care insurance is designed to pay some or all of a policy holder’s long term care needs.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Planning For Long Term Care

The phrase long term care describes the shelter and health care options available for individuals who are no longer able to live without assistance. There are three options: The first is to remain in your own home with some type of in-home care. The second is assisted living and the third is a skilled nursing facility.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Check Your 1099's

Tax season is just around the corner. If you have a trust plan with our office, please check all your 1099s that you are getting in the mail. They should all state the name of your trust. Some exceptions are IRAs and some annuities which should have your trust as the beneficiary. As always, if you have any questions, please contact our office. If necessary, a complimentary funding review meeting may be scheduled with Lisah. Please call the number below to make an appointment.

 

We have some new client education topics for this coming year. Details on these seminars will be mailed throughout the year.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Charitable Remainder Trust

Is a special type of irrevocable trust in which the assets donated to it are shared between the Trustmakers and charitable beneficiaries. Typically, a CRT pays income to the Trustmakers for a number of years (or entire lives), after which any remaining principal is paid to qualified charities.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

How Can I Remove Property From My Taxable Estate and Still Benefit?

To save estate taxes, these appreciating assets must be eliminated from the gross taxable estate. The solution is to convey such appreciating assets to an irrevocable trust that contains special instructions. Those instruction state that at your death the trust’s assets will belong to your designated beneficiaries; therefore, the assets will not be a part of your taxable estate when you die.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What is a Living Will?

Living Wills, in essence, are intended to provide you with a way to express in advance your desires concerning your health care treatment. They are mainly used by those who desire to authorize the withdrawal of life sustaining care. Living Wills can also be used to provide instructions about the types of medical treatment the patient does not want withheld or withdrawn.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Should More Than One Successor Trustee Be Named?

The decision to choose more than on Successor Trustee to serve simultaneously may be based on several factors. Often one person possess all the necessary skills to serve alone. If this is not the case, co-trustee can be appointed and trust responsibilities divided. If co-trustees are appointed, the trust agreement should state the specific responsibilities of each Trustee and how joint decision are made.

 

Another benefit of naming multiple co-trustees is that if one of them resigns, becomes disabled or dies, the other co-trustee is already in place to continue the trust administration without any interruption. Without this protection, the beneficiaries must deal with the burden of deciding whom to appoint as a Successor Trustee.

 

A final benefit of naming co-trustees is that they can monitor each other so that trust assets are managed and distributed as the Trustmaker intended. Many believe that is simply good policy to make sure that multiple individuals are jointly responsible for the trust’s administration as it can help prevent the mismanagement, misuse or theft of the trust’s assets.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How Can A Trustee Be Replaced?

The trustmaker of a revocable trust can change a trustee at any time prior to his or her disability or death by amending the trust to name a new Successor Trustee. The trust can include instructions that outline the circumstances that allow a Successor Trustee to be removed.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Selecting a Corporate Successor Trustee?

Trust companies or bank trust departments have substantial expertise in serving as trustees, are highly regulated by state and federal agencies, provide professional financial management and have the financial resources to pay for costly mistakes. The disadvantages, as with other professionals, include their higher fees, their lack of knowledge of the Trustmaker’s family and the fact that they are often seen as uncaring and dispassionate. Including instructions in the trust that permit the trustee to be replace if appropriate can mitigate some of these disadvantages.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Selecting an Attorney, CPA or Financial Advisor as Successor Trustee?

Professional advisors generally have expertise in finances and knowledge of the legal requirements of trust management. They also usually carry professional liability insurance that financially protects your beneficiaries if mismanagement of trust assets occurs. What professional trustees possess in financial and legal expertise they lack in knowledge of the Trustmaker’s family and goals. Also with their professional skills come higher fees. However, a professional’s fees are often more than compensated for by their ability to obtain for beneficiaries a better return on trust investments.

 

 


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Selecting a Family Member or Friend As Successor Trustee?

An advantage of selecting family members or friends as Successor Trustee is that they have personal knowledge of the family. Their knowledge of the true needs of the beneficiaries can prove valuable. They can also be trusted to act in the beneficiary’s best interest and usually will serve for little or no fee. The disadvantage of family members or friends serving as Successor Trustee is that they may make decision on an emotional rather than objective basis and they often lack the financial skills necessary to invest and manage large sums of money.

 

NEXT WEEK: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Selecting an Attorney, CPA or Financial Advisor as Successor Trustee?


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