Is a Living Trust Right For You?

 

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Heritage Living Trust, Financial Consultants - No License Required, Scotts Valley, CA

What People Are Saying About Heritage Trust

"I have a close personal friend, who is now 90 years old. She had a trust from Heritage Living Trust created about 3 years ago and since that time has been diagnosed with dementia. A week ago, after checking herself out of the hospital, the public guardian filed for conservatorship, asking the probate court to appoint them, the public guardian, as her new caregiver/conservator. My friend has no family left, but due to her Trust which was created while she was of sound mind, declared her wishes as to who she wanted to serve as her conservator if the time ever came to when she would need to be conserved. Normally, a non-relative conservatorship would be fairly difficult to implement, but in this case, the named individual in her estate plan came to the court and told the court that they desire to serve as my friend's conservator and will accept that responsibility. This morning, the probate attorney and the public guardian agreed that the named individual in the estate plan created by Heritage has precedence, and that the trust was sufficient to place that individual as her conservator.

If it were not for her Heritage trust, she would be another case added to the already overloaded government workers conservatorship pile. Instead, an individual who she loves, and who loves her, is now fulfilling my friend's final wishes and providing for her the end of life care that she deserves after having worked hard for the past 90 years."       

R. Jones...California 

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"Thank you Heritage Staff and Associates for providing the type of customer service a consumer only dreams of. I am so impressed with the accurate and timely response to my many questions and how everything is explained in terms I can understand. Most impressive is the ability to make changes to our trust at any time without an extra charge. I am confident that Heritage Trust has given me the security my family needs for the future."
 Z. Gibbs...Colorado

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"In 2003 when I was looking for someone to do my Living Trust, I found HeritageLivingTrust.com . I met with the staff at their office and we started the process. The service was and is above and beyond my expectations. In 2007, after marrying again, my husband and I had them set up a new A-B Trust, which we have amended several times since then, at no extra cost. We have been completely satisfied and send them Kudos for all their patience, hard work and professionalism." 
Chris and George S., Pacific Grove, California

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    Agents
    Sunday
    Jan272013

    New 2013 Estate Tax Changes

    Most estates don't owe federal estate or gift tax, because you can give away or leave substantial amounts of property tax-free.

    The federal estate and gift taxes are really one tax, called the unified gift and estate tax. Under current law, you can leave or give away up to $5.25 million, total, before you need to pay tax. Tax liability isn't assessed until death, unless you make $5.25 million in taxable gifts (very unusual) during your lifetime. 

    The personal estate tax exemption. The personal exemption allows a set dollar amount of property to pass tax free, no matter who inherits it. For deaths in 2011, the individual exemption was $5 million; for deaths in 2012, $5.12 million; and in 2013, $5.25 million. The amount will be indexed for inflation, so it will probably increase in future years. If your estate is worth less than the exemption amount--as are the estates of more than 99% of the population--it won't owe federal estate tax when you die. If you have made taxable gifts during your life, the amount of yourpersonal exemption will be reduced by the amount of those taxable gifts.

    The marital deduction. All property left to a surviving spouse passes free of estate tax. (I.R.C. § 2056(a).) The marital deduction is not allowed for property left to noncitizen spouses. But the personal estate tax exemption can be used for property left to noncitizen spouses.

    The charitable deduction. All property left to a tax-exempt charity is also free of estate tax. (I.R.C. § 2055(a).)

    Special rules for married couples. A surviving spouse gets a big tax break. If the deceased spouse didn't use up his or her individual tax exemption, the survivor can use what's left. That gives the couple a total $10.5 million (under current law) exemption, split between them in any way that provides the greatest tax benefit. For example, say a man dies and leaves $4 million to his widow; no estate tax is owed because property left to a spouse is tax-free. The widow then dies, leaving $7 million (her own $3 million plus the $4 million she inherited from her husband) to their children. Her estate won't owe any estate tax, even though the estate is over the exemption amount, because the estate can use some of the husband's unused exemption. 

    State estate taxes. Even if your estate isn't big enough to owe federal estate tax, the state may still take a bite. Many states collect either their own estate or inheritance taxes. (See Estate and Gift Tax FAQ.) If you live in one of those states, there's not much you can do to avoid paying those taxes, save moving to another state.

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