The Year of the Will

January 28th, 2013 - Carmichael Clark

“I haven’t gotten to it yet”

Nearly 2.5 million Americans die each year and many haven’t signed the most basic of estate planning document, the Will. While many think about it, and say, “I should get to that,” most do not. Well, it’s a new year. Forgot the gym; let’s get that Will drafted.

“Okay, maybe we should talk about it”

Averting the Fiscal Cliff (for now), Congress left the estate taxes essentially untouched for 2013, maintaining the levels set in 2010 (with the exception of the highest tax rate moving from 35% to 40%). Taxes had been threatened to expand dramatically, so this is a big deal. That being said, it was a squeaker and we might not get so lucky next time. While credits and rates remain favorable, estate planning should be done. This is the year.

“Wait, I think I already have one of these”

If you remember having this conversation some 30 years ago, and at the advice of you brother-in-law, got a Will drafted, it’s time to pull it out, dust it off, and give it a read. Given the changes in estate taxes, probate procedures, and legal strategies; there might well be provisions in your Will that need to be changed. This is especially true if the statuses of your committed relationships have changed, including your children growing up and grandchildren being born. Wills contain important provisions such as who inherits, in what share, and who will be in charge of administration. You might have different ideas about these considerations then you did while your kids were young.

Happy New Year. You can do it.

-Evan Jones, Attorney

Disclaimer: This article and blog are intended to inform the reader of general legal principles applicable to the subject area. They are not intended to provide legal advice regarding specific problems or circumstances. Readers should consult with competent counsel with regard to specific situations.

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