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Phoenix office: 1850 N. Central Ave., # 1900, Phoenix, Arizona 85004 | Sun City office: 13250 N. Del Webb Blvd. # B Sun City, AZ 85351

Sharon Ravenscroft Estate Planning Blog

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

Get more than just paper when your estate plan is done.

Estate planning needs to be more than just a stack of paper. Legal services should be that-- service, including information, advice and a somewhere to call when you have questions how to use your documents. So I provide legal services, and most follow calls are answered without charge, unless new research or documents are needed.

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American Taxpayer Relief Act- Where Things Stand

Whether living in the metro Phoenix area or the Sun City Peoria area, most of my clients are interested in the following highlights: All the individual "Bush era" tax rates are retained with the addition of a new top rate of 39.6% imposed on income over $450,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly or $400,000 for single taxpayers. The capital gain...

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Obama proposes $3.5 estate tax exclusion

President Obama's current proposal in his budget is a permanent the estate, and gift tax parameters as they applied during 2009. The top tax rate would be 45 percent and the exclusion amount would be $3.5 million for estate and $1 million for gift taxes. As reflected in the Administration’s adjusted baseline projection, the portability of unused es...

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Electronic Passwords and Estate Planning

If you are ill, incapacitated or die, you will want your financial agent or Personal Representative to have use of your passwords and account information. Be sure to keep them in a safe place that can be found by the ones you trust. Placing a list with your notebook of estate planning documents is just one good idea.

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Electronic Passwords and Estate Planning

If you are ill or incapacitated or die, you will want your financial agent or

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Beneficiary Deeds v. Will

Beneficiary deeds apply only to the real estate and the buildings on it. The household effects and tangible personal property cannot be designated by a beneficiary deed but only through a Will (or a Will with a Trust). You can avoid probate with a Beneficiary Deed on the property and a Will for your tangible personal property if such property has a...

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Estate taxes for someone who lost a spouse in 2010?

For those whose spouse died in 2010, if the deceased's estate did not use all of the $5 million exemption, then the remainder can carry over to the surviving spouse. So if the deceased spouse's share of the estate was worth $2 million, then the unused estate tax exemption of $3 million can be used by the surviving spouse and added to the surviving ...

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New Estate Tax Law

There is estate tax is now unified with the gift tax-- $5 million per person. However, it applies only for 2011 and 2012. Couples need to keep their option to have an an irrevocable trust when the first spouse dies, just in case Congress does not extend the unified credit and the $1 million exclusion from 2002 comes back. For the estate of anyone w...

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Estate Tax Exclusion is $5 million per person

For 2011 and 2012, the estate tax exclusion will be $5 million per person and $10 million per couple. It appears that the new law also allows for the exemption to apply to anyone who died in 2010 if the estate wants to have the step up in basis. It appears also that one spouse can use another spouses exemption to some extent in a portability provis...

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Tis the Season To Remember Family

This is the season to visit family. This is also a good time to think about which family members would you rely on to take care of your finances if you became ill. Also consider which family members would be most helpful with your doctors and health care providers. Even if you are married, you need an alternate to your spouse-- in case you both are...

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