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Sharon Ravenscroft Estate Planning Blog

Welcome to my blog covering all things estate planning, family estate planning. business planning, wills, trusts & probate.

What if I don't have a Will?

Protecting Families with an Estate Plan.  Most people think of Wills and death when they think of estate planning. However, the distribution of a...
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Twelve Top Ways to Use a Revocable Trust

As of the new year, the IRS raised the amount that can be passed estate tax free to $5.5 million. Each person can give this total amount as a gift dur...
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Does my trust need its own Tax Identification number?

‚Äč If your trust is a revocable trust then your social security number can be used for any accounts titled in the name of the trust. You will not ...
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When visiting family, do I show them my Will?

When visiting family, do I show them my Will?
This holiday season when you're visiting your family you may be thinking that you want to talk to them about your estate plan: like your will or your trust or your powers of attorney. I recommend that my clients only tell their families where their original documents are and who their attorney is. If you give them copies at your holiday gatherings
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Avoiding Probate Guidance

Keeping the court out of your assets and business is not difficult but does require certain steps. Be sure all accounts in your name have a pay on dea...
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Why do assets need to be titled in Trust?

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Increase in the Estate Tax Exclusion- No change in the Present Gift Exclusion

The amount that can now be passed estate tax free is $5.45 million. With proper provisions in a trust or Will, a married couple can pass twice that amount or $10.9 million estate tax free when the couple both have died. There has not been any change to the annual present gift exemption which allows $15,000 to be given per recipient each year
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Discount on Estate Planning Updates in 2015

Have you been putting off updating your estate planning documents? From now until the end of 2015, any existing clients who sets an appointment to update their estate planning documents this year will receive a 15% discount on the attorney's fees. Are you a new client? Then you will receive at least 10% off the attorney's fees on the whole plan
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Are you a newlywed?

Newlyweds, who lived together for some time before marrying, might already have estate planning documents which include each of the couple. Nevertheless, the prior documents should be updated to reflect the marriage. Community property laws can change the manner in which estate is applied. The status or description of children or relatives could
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Caution when amending Estate Planning Documents

Each estate planning document has statutory requirements as to whether one or two witnesses are needed or if a notarized signature is required. These requirements create authenticity and a comfort level so that they can be enforced and followed by courts, financial institutions and health care providers. If someone marks out provisions or writes
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