ESTATE PLANNING, WILLS & TRUSTS
COMPREHENSIVE ESTATE PLANNING FOR PROTECTING FAMILY LEGACIES
A Full Range of Customized Estate Planning Services
We offer a full range of estate planning services for individuals and families with basic estate planning needs and customized advanced estate planning for individuals and families with large estates.
Understanding Basic Estate Planning
Our basic estate planning package includes the following six documents customized to fit your individual and family needs:
Certification of Trust
Having basic estate planning documents in place is crucial. Examples of problems that families experience when these documents are not in proper order are endless. For example, when a person dies without a Last Will and Testament, the heirs of that person's estate, and how the property of the estate is to be distributed, is determined by an Intestate Statute. The Intestate Statutes vary from state to state but inevitably they produce results that would not normally be consistent with the desires of most people if they had bothered to make a Will. In South Carolina, for example, a married person with two children who died without a Will would have their estate distributed one-half to their surviving spouse and one-half to their two children. This is not generally the result that a surviving spouse would want or desire. If one or both of the children were minors, a Conservatorship would have to be established with the Probate Court to receive the children's respective share of the estate proceeds. The conservatorship would be court supervised until the child reached the age of majority or eighteen years old.
For larger estates needing basic estate taxation planning, a Credit Shelter or By-Pass trust can be established. The Credit Shelter or By-Pass Trust is generally created upon the death of the first spouse and allows a married couple to use two estate tax exemptions. In 2019, the maximum estate tax exemption equivalent is $11,400,000. Therefore, a married couple can still effectively pass $22,800,000 to their heirs without paying estate tax by planning with the use of a By-Pass or Credit Shelter Trust.
Life Insurance, The Next Estate Tax Planning Consideration
The proceeds from a life insurance policy paid upon the death of an insured are not subject to income tax, therefore the beneficiary is not required to report any taxable income or pay income tax as result of having received the proceeds. However, the proceeds are included in the insured's estate for estate tax purposes in many instances. The proceeds remaining will also be included in the beneficiary's estate upon his or her death and subject to estate taxation. Through proper planning and the use of one or more Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs), the proceeds from life insurance will not be subject to an estate tax.
Leveraging Techniques, The Estate Tax Planning Final Frontier
For the largest and most complex estates, various leveraging techniques and plans involving Family Limited Partnerships or Family Limited Liability Companies, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs), Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts (IDGTs), Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs) and Charitable Lead and Remainder Trusts may be employed in various combinations to produce significant estate tax savings. The Law Office of John Kachmarsky can assist you in developing a custom estate planning strategy to significantly reduce your estate tax liability. The technique or techniques that work best for any particular family will vary depending upon the types of assets owned, the income the assets produce and the age and needs of the particular individuals and families.
John Kachmarsky possesses the credentials and specialized knowledge to help you form creative estate planning and asset protection strategies for the greatest benefit of your family and heirs.
Contact us today to discuss your immediate estate planning needs and long-term wealth preservation goals.