» Attorney with Hook Law Center Explains Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Attorney with Hook Law Center Explains Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) March 17, 2014 – Legal news outlet JD Supra recently asked attorneys to describe common, costly mistakes people make when preparing estate plans and the best ways to prevent or fix them.

Hampton Roads estate planning attorney Andrew Hook weighed in with his take on some of the top issues reported by JD Supra.

Procrastination. Too many people, perhaps unwilling to face their own mortality, wait until the very end of their lives to consider any sort of estate planning. Many will never get around to it at all.

“The earlier estate planning begins, the better,” said Hook. “This allows plenty of time to consider the options and get the best arrangements in place, without making important decisions in times of stress and turmoil.”

Too many trust amendments. The more amendments a trust has, the greater the risk of an amendment becoming lost or improperly executed.

“If a client wishes to make further changes to a trust that already has multiple amendments, we usually recommend creating a new trust that incorporates all changes and revokes the original trust,” Hook indicated. “Alternatively, all existing amendments can be revoked and replaced with a single new amendment that includes all prior changes.”

Improper linkage of assets to trusts. Revocable living trusts allow the bulk of an individual's assets to pass to his or her heirs without going through probate, but only if title to those assets is properly transferred to the trust.

“It's not always as simple as, say, designating the trust as a beneficiary to a financial account,” Hook cautions. “Many assets, such as retirement accounts, have complex rules. The counsel of an experienced estate planning attorney is indispensable in properly managing trusts.”

Citizenship. The unlimited marital deduction allows the unlimited, tax-free transfer of assets from one spouse to another in most circumstances, including upon the death of the transferer. But this deduction applies only if the surviving spouse is a U.S. citizen.

“If the surviving spouse is not a U.S. citizen, one option available is a qualified domestic trust, which may be created after death. A skilled estate planning attorney will never take this basic point for granted.”

Hook Law Center
295 Bendix Road, Suite 170
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452-1294
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267

SUFFOLK
5806 Harbour View Blvd.
Suite 203
Suffolk VA 23435
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267
http://www.hooklawcenter.com/

  • Anxiety and Dementia
    A recent study has found that anxiety during middle age may be linked to higher rates of dementia late in life.  The study followed almost 30,000 for more than a decade and there was a clear link between anxiety mid-life and dementia later in life.  The study wasn’t a controlled study with the intent to […]
  • Think Before You Liquidate That IRA
    One of the biggest problems faced in estate and trust administration is the liquidation of qualified assets, such as a 401k or IRA. Often, clients forget that the funds in the qualified account have not yet been taxed, and as a result, when withdrawn from the account, the full withdrawal will be taxed as ordinary […]
  • New Changes to 529 Plans
    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has made some significant changes to qualified tuition programs also commonly known as “529 plans”. These plans are a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage savings for future education costs. 529 plans are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code “IRC” and are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions. Distributions […]
  • When it’s Time to Hang up the Keys – and How to Have That Difficult Discussion
    As your parents age, you may be realizing that they need more and more help with their daily activities. Perhaps your mother may be forgetting to take her medication, or your father may be having a hard time getting in and out of the bath. All of these changes are upsetting, but perhaps the most […]
  • Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation, Part Three: What Can You Do?
    This is the third article in a three-part series discussing Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation. In Part One, we discussed the definitions for elder abuse and the prevalence of it in our society. In Part Two, we discussed what to watch for in detecting the signs of elder abuse as well as identifying the situations […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required