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Estate Planning Archives - Wealthspire

Executor

Financial Dictionary
What Is an Executor? An executor, also called an executor of estate or executor of will, manages your estate after death. It is often a temporary and relatively short-term position, but can be time-intensive. It is referred to as “personal representative” in some states. What Does the Executor of a Will Do? An executor of a will has authority from the probate court to manage the affairs of a deceased person’s estate. In other words, an executor is the fiduciary in charge of your probate estate. The executor’s role includes determining what property you owned, taking control of your assets,…
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question trustee

Trustee

Financial Dictionary
Trustee Definition A trustee is a person or a company that manages the trust assets for the benefit of a third party or beneficiary, according to the terms of the trust document. Furthermore, a trustee manages and executes decisions for the beneficiary’s benefit and best interest. When creating a trust, it is important to consider possible questions that can help guide you through the creation process. Is a Trustee the Same as a Beneficiary? Although both are included as part of your overall estate plan, beneficiaries and trustees play different roles. The beneficiary is the individual who may receive the…
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Power of Attorney

Financial Dictionary
What is Power of Attorney POAs are legal documents that allow you to name an “agent” (also sometimes referred to as an “Attorney-in-fact”) to act on your behalf for financial or health care decisions and are key components of any estate plan. This agent is expected to place the principal’s interests ahead of his or her own, which is why it is important to pick a trustworthy agent. Different Types of POA There are many different types of Powers of Attorney (POAs), including a Financial POA, a Healthcare POA, Non-Durable vs. Durable POAs, General vs. Special POAs, and Springing POAs. …
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Trust

Financial Dictionary
What is a Trust? A trust is a legal relationship where the owner, or trustor, gives another party, the trustee, the right to hold title to property or assets for the benefit of a third party, the beneficiary. A trust is traditionally used for minimizing estate taxes and offers other benefits as a part of an estate plan. What is the Purpose of a Trust? While most typically associated with estate planning, trusts are created more broadly for the purpose of achieving certain goals in the transfer of assets. Many common goals in creating a trust include the reduction of…
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mental health trustee

Navigating Mental Health Issues When Serving as Trustee

By and Guides & Whitepapers
A Conversation with an Experienced Estate Attorney and Trustee At Wealthspire Advisors, there are several senior advisors who also serve as trustee for their clients. Mike Delgass is one such advisor. Mike is a Managing Director and has been with the firm since 2005. Before Wealthspire, Mike practiced as a trusts and estates attorney and was a partner at two nationally recognized law firms. Mike draws from his extensive legal experience not only to help his clients navigate complex tax planning, but also in his role as personal trustee for some of the families with whom he works. Though there…
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trust tax

How Are Trusts Taxed? FAQs

By Blog
With the tax season fast approaching, you may have questions about how your trust is taxed, who is responsible for tax filings, or how trust income taxes get paid. This blog will answer some common questions you may have about the taxation of your trust. Do all trusts pay income taxes? It depends. A trust is a separate legal and taxable entity. Whether the trust pays its own taxes depends on whether the trust is a simple trust, a complex trust, or a grantor trust. Simple trusts and complex trusts pay their own income taxes. Grantor trusts do NOT pay…
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cliff

Mitigate New York’s Estate Tax Cliff with Smart Estate Planning and Gifting Strategies – 2021 Update

By and Blog
While the large increase in the federal estate tax exemption has provided many with federal estate tax relief, New Yorkers must continue to plan for New York estate tax. For a quick review of the New York Estate Tax “Cliff” basics, see the “Understanding New York’s Estate Tax “Cliff” blog post. What is the current exemption from New York estate tax again? The current New York estate tax exemption amount is $5,930,000 for 2021. Under current law, this number will remain until January 1, 2022, at which point it will rise again with inflation. Who does the Cliff affect? Everyone…
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tax law changes

Estate Planning in Light of Tax Reform: Your Questions and Our Answers – 2021 Update

By and Blog
This post will help you unpack some of the estate and gift tax provisions of the 2017 Tax Reform Act, as well as answer some of the most pressing questions raised by the changes. In a nutshell, what stayed the same and what changed? One major item that stayed the same is the simple existence of an estate tax. The initial tax reform bill from the House called for a complete elimination of the estate tax, which didn’t make its way into the final law.  Trump had also talked about altering the current date-of-death basis step-up for gains above a…
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gst tax

Basics of Federal Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer (“GST”) Tax – 2021 Update

By and Blog
The bad news is that there is a Federal tax on assets that you give away during life, at death, and to individuals two or more generations below you. The good news is that this tax will only apply to the wealthiest Americans and, even so, there are strategies you can use to minimize or avoid its application. The Federal estate, gift and GST tax only kicks in above a certain dollar threshold. Furthermore, there are additional wealth transfer strategies that do not trigger any tax at all if structured properly. Taxable Gifts There is a Federal estate and gift…
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SLATs

Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLATs): FAQs – 2021 Update

By Blog
What is a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT)? It is a trust that you (the grantor) set up for the benefit of your spouse and your descendants. You would make a gift to the SLAT, using some of your federal lifetime gift exemption (currently $11.7M in 2021) to shield that gift from gift tax. While you give up all your rights and control over the gifted assets, your spouse will have access to the gifted assets as beneficiary of the SLAT. When does it make sense to have a SLAT? You should consider creating a SLAT if you have a…
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