Purchasing life insurance policies, drafting a will or an estate plan and securing your family’s financial well-being in the event you pass are some of the smartest things you can do. Nobody likes confronting the harsh truth that we won’t always be around to provide for our loved ones, but it is a fate you can protect against with proper planning and guidance. But what about everything else? Account numbers and passwords to pay bills, the deed to the house, keys to the safe deposit box, or the actual will itself, if these items cannot be located it makes life for your loved ones a little more challenging after you’re gone.
Everplans, a start-up company co-founded by Abby Schneiderman, has developed a digital archiving system to safeguard against these overlooked details. Everything from contact information for the gardener, to directions on how to care for pets, to treasured family recipes passed down for generations, all this “mundane” information, that seems to slip through the cracks when planning for life-after-death of a loved one, is gathered and stored in an online archive. Not to forget about all of the important materials, which are stored in the archives as well, such as copies of your will, health derivatives, beneficiaries and power of attorney. The client decides the amount and type of date collected so it can be as abundant or scarce as they wish.
The whole idea behind this product is making pertinent information readily accessible to the client, advisor and eventually deputy – the person you designate access to your archive – once you pass. It puts everything in one organized place, eliminating the stress and run around.
For a more comprehensive understanding of the product and the need for it, visit CNBC.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the estates of the wealthy when they pass? Most would believe that they would protect their assets, in the form of a will, so their families and loved ones could benefit in the future. But it is not always that easy to do and requires meticulous language and perfectly drawn out instructions.
Unfortunately, for these familiar faces, their poor planning led to hardships and long disputes for their families to deal with long after their passing. Some of their stories seem bazaar, others are classic mistakes many people make when drafting a will and for one, there was never any will constructed in the first place. It is important to learn from these mistakes and make sure you have a full proof concise plan in place. Please take the time to read each of their stories below to ensure your legacy is protected for your loved ones in the future.
- Chris Kyle–American Sniper
- Robin Williams–Comedian/actor
- Mickey Rooney–Actor
- Casey Kasem–Radio personality
- Ernie Banks–Professional baseball player
- Tom Clancy–Author
- Jim Morrison–Rockstar
- Ravi Kumra–Silicon Valley venture capitalist
- Richard Mellon Scaife–Owner of Pittsburgh Tribune Review
The long-term care market has significantly changed over the past several years. As the market evolved, many high net worth individuals have either purchased or expressed an interest in a new long-term care policy form called “Hybrid Long-Term Care” coverage.
Advisors frequently ask us if it is prudent for their high new worth clients to acquire long-term care insurance when their net worth is sufficient to withstand the additional expenses attributed to long term care. Every family’s goals, objectives and circumstances are different. Yet many of the issues remain the same when considering the pros and cons of a Hybrid Long-Term Care policy.
Hybrid Long-Term Care is a combination of cash value life insurance and long-term care coverage. The program is funded with a single lump sum deposit with the insurance company. The lump sum deposit guarantees the benefits in the contract and no further premiums will ever be required (this is not the case with traditional long term care policies where insurance companies have the right to raise the premiums). In the event that the insured qualifies for long term care benefits, the policy pays the monthly benefit amount over the time period purchased. However, unlike traditional long term care policy, if the insured dies, a death benefit is payable to the insured’s beneficiary. Also, many Hybrid contracts have a return of premium provision or rider. This rider will return the single premium to the insured at any time before a long-term care claim if the insured determines that the coverage is no longer needed. In a low interest rate environment where cash earns very little, this makes a Hybrid Long-Term care contract a good cash alternative for the high net worth that maintain substantial cash reserves.
Long-Term Care benefits paid from a qualified long-term care policy are income tax free. If self-insuring and resources are needed to fund the expenses of long term care, selling assets may result in capital gains or ordinary income taxes. Also, markets fluctuate and timing issues should be part of the consideration. Lastly, assets with substantial built in gains my best be held until death because the step up in basis could be very valuable for the family.
Lastly, long-term care events are an emotion time for families. Whether it is a healthy spouse or children that helping sort through finances and coordinate care, tension can run high. Some companies, in addition to providing the funds at the time of claim, also provide “Concierge Care Coordination” services to provide much needed support at the time it is needed most.
In conclusion, there are several compelling reasons why long term care insurance, if structured properly, can play a role in the planning for high net worth individuals.
Contact Matthew Friedson to talk more about Hybrid Long-Term Care.
Earlier this week, on June 18, the Washington Post published an article on an estate planning technique used by Bill and Hillary Clinton. The article described the use of a Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT), which is an “estate reduction and freeze” technique. Local estate planning attorney (and our friend) Alban Salaman was quoted in the article and helped explain this planning technique, which is used to reduce estate taxes.
In summary, this strategy allows the donors to give away the home at its current value, but they still get to live there for a fixed number of years. If the donors survive the fixed number of years, the home will pass free of estate and gift taxes to the beneficiaries of the trust. If the donors die during the term, the value of the residence the day of their death reverts back to the estate.
To minimize the tax consequences in the event of a reversion, it makes sense to purchase term life insurance within the QPRT on the donors as a hedging strategy. Should they die during the term, the QPRT would have assets to purchase the property from the estate and inject the estate with liquidity.
For questions about this technique, please contact us at GWE.
News went out earlier this week regarding Maryland’s Uniform Trust Code and Increase in Estate Tax Exemption. We previously mentioned the bill passing in both the House and Senate and would go to Governor O’Mally to be signed to law.
On May 15, 2014, Governor O’Malley signed the two bills to increase the Uniform Trust Code and the Maryland Estate Tax Exemption.
You can find the text for Maryland’s Uniform Trust Code, also referred to as Maryland Trust Act on LegiScan. The text for the Maryland Estate Tax Exemption can be found on General Assembly of Maryland. This article from Venable, LLP briefly highlights the changes in the estate tax law on Lexology.
Contact David Wexler for more information about estate planning.