What Is The Gift Tax?

The gift tax is also a component of the federal transfer tax system and is a tax imposed on transfers (i.e., gifts) of property during life, either given outright or to a trust. Like the estate tax, the gift...

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What Is The Estate Tax?

The estate tax is one component of the federal transfer tax system, which also includes the gift tax and the generation-skipping transfer tax. The estate tax is a tax imposed on the transfer of property at death. It is...

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Do All Of A Decedent’s Assets Go Through Probate, Or Are There Non-Probate Assets?

Probate assets consist only of assets owned by the decedent at death that do not pass automatically (i.e., by operation of law) to the intended beneficiaries. A person’s will deals only with probate assets – it does not control...

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What Is Probate?

Probate is the legal process that takes place after someone dies of proving the validity of a will or establishing who is entitled to receive the decedent’s property under state intestate succession laws if there is no will. The...

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Why Retain An Attorney To Establish A Trust?

You should always work with a lawyer when setting up a trust. A poorly created trust can be confusing, expensive, and/or ineffective. The trouble with do-it-yourself planning is that even if your situation seems simple, you are not aware...

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What Assets Can Be Owned By A Trust?

A trust can own almost any kind of asset except for retirement plans. The types of assets that can be retitled in the name of the trust include cash accounts such as checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts...

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Who Are The Parties Involved In A Trust?

The person who creates a trust is called the creator, the settlor, or the grantor. The trustee is the person or persons who hold title to the trust property in their name. The trustee has a fiduciary duty...

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The Trust As Part Of An Estate Plan

To the layperson, trusts can appear complicated. People often think trusts are only for the very wealthy. In reality, trusts can be useful for people of all income levels. A trust is a legal arrangement under state law governed by...

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What Is An Estate Plan?

From a simple standpoint, many people initially think of an estate plan as having a will. On the more complicated end, some think of an estate plan as an elaborate arrangement only rich people need to plan who gets...

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What Happens If Someone Dies Without An Estate Plan In Place?

A person who dies is known as the “decedent.” A decedent who dies without a will is known as dying “intestate.” If a person dies without a will, a court of law must follow state law (instead of the decedent’s...

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