Imagine that, as a California business owner, you intend to transfer your ownership interest and retire to a more leisured life that you have long envisioned.
The above heading for today's blog post states what any proven estate administration and tax attorney knows to be true in the most fundamental sense, namely this: Optimal business succession outcomes are rewarded by principals who proceed proactively and in a manner best linked with their core objectives.
It would be great if an estate plan were something you could just set and forget, but life rarely works that way. Many people take responsible action and develop an estate plan that will provide tax savings and protect their assets for their spouses and children. If they don't update those plans to reflect changes in life and the law, however, those careful plans may turn out to be ineffective.
Effective tax and estate planning is often about accounting for trade-offs. Depending on what is included in your particular estate, charitable giving may offer a trade-off that maximizes benefits for you and your family. It is necessary to use the right legal instruments if you intend to make a positive difference in the world while also protecting your estate.
If your estate plan were a movie, who would you cast in the supporting roles? First, there should be an attorney, the skilled estate planning professional who knows California probate and tax law and who can come up with all kinds of strategies to maximize what your heirs and beneficiaries will receive.
As we said in our last post, we do have a point, and it is this: Women earn less than men, and that has a direct impact on their retirement and estate planning. Nationwide, women earn about $16,000 a year after age 65. Men? Men earn almost $27,000. While working, women earn 77 cents on the dollar, but in retirement women earn about 60 cents on the dollar (the dollar earned by men, that is).
Change is slow, says the Institute for Women's Policy Research, especially when it comes to closing the gender wage gap. Considering how much progress the country has made since the Equal Pay Act was passed 50 years ago, the IWPR figures we will finally reach our goal -- women and men will actually earn equal pay (on average) for equal work -- in 2058. It will have taken 100 years of baby steps to close the 40 cent gap identified in 1963's "American Women: Report of the President's Commission on the Status of Women."
Sometimes it is important to closely consider whose interests are being promoted in an estate plan.
The average American family looks very different than it did in previous generations. Large families with a lot of kids used to be the norm, but many couples now choose to have between one and three children, and some couples decide to forego having kids altogether.
A form that was supposed to be an easy and inexpensive way to create a will turned out to be anything but that, according to a recent state court decision. The court wrote that the case provided a cautionary tale to others about estate planning and noted that some efforts to save costs early in the process could wind up costing much more down the line.