» 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

5806 Harbour View Blvd.
Suite 203
Suffolk VA 23435
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267

  • Be aware of the details on required minimum distributions
    It is important for taxpayers to be informed about required minimum distributions (RMDs) from IRAs so that they can plan accordingly for their retirement. In the current year, those persons age 70 ½ or older are required to take a RMD from their traditional IRAs (Individual Retirement Arrangements), SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) IRAs, SIMPLE (Savings […]
  • Musings on Financial Aid
    My oldest child is a senior in high school, and we are filling out the financial aid forms for the first time. There has been a big change in the world of collegiate financial aid. In prior years, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form was released on January 1 and required families […]
  • Cruising through Caregiving – Book Review
    Cruising through Caregiving is a terrific book helping all those who have cared for or will care for someone in their family through the aging process deal with the stress of serving in such a capacity. The thrust of her book is that there are many roles to play, but all should be played WITHOUT […]
  • Planning for Small Business Owners Is Critically Important
    At times we all fall victim to focusing on the present at the expense of planning for the future. Many business owners continually focus on the daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual goals of the business and often do not consider what would happen if they, or one of their key team members, would suffer and […]
  • Determining the Appropriate Level of Care
    Nearly all clients want to remain in their home for as long as possible. Determining when additional levels of care are necessary and when it is not safe for an individual to remain at home often requires the intervention of a team of persons dedicated to ensuring the client receives appropriate care and oversight. Rather […]

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

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

* indicates required