Utah Estate Planningutah Estate Planning Attorneyutah Probate-jessica rabbit

Utah Estate Planningutah Estate Planning Attorneyutah Probate-jessica rabbit

Questions to Ask One’s Estate Planning Attorney by Robert S. Tippett When a Utah estate planning attorney recommends a particular course of action, the client should satisfy herself that she fully understands all the ramifications of the plan before she commits to it. The client should not be embarrassed about asking a question multiple times until she fully understands the answer. The following are some questions that a Utah estate planning client may want to ask her attorney. How much complexity will there be? Estate planning attorneys sometimes suggest estate planning techniques to clients that appear simple from the attorney’s perspective but end up being unwieldy from the client’s perspective. Before the Utah estate planning client agrees to a course of action, she might ask her attorney: What additional bank or brokerage accounts will need to be opened and maintained? What additional income and/or gift tax returns will be required each year? What restrictions will exist on the client’s ability to access funds? What real estate appraisals or business valuations will be needed on a regular basis? What continuing Utah estate planning attorney involvement will be needed? It is often the client’s accountant who will bear the burden of a sophisticated estate plan. The client might therefore consider whether her accountant is sufficiently familiar with the type of estate planning transaction contemplated. The more complicated an estate plan is, the more likely it is that something will go wrong. It never hurts to remind the estate planning attorney of the K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple, Stupid) principle and to ask the attorney if there is a more simple way to accomplish the same result. What will be the tax consequences? An attorney may recommend a Utah estate planning technique to a client because it will save estate taxes, but fail to explain to the client other tax consequences. The client might ask the attorney to explain to her each of the following tax implications of adopting a particular estate planning strategy: (1) income tax consequences (2) capital gain tax consequences (3) estate tax consequences (4) gift tax consequences (5) generation-skipping transfer tax consequences (6) property tax consequences Particularly in today’s uncertain tax environment, the client might ask her attorney what the tax consequences are likely to be under different scenarios. What if the client dies in a year when there is a $5 million estate tax exemption? What if the client dies in a year when there is a $1 million estate tax exemption? What if there is no estate tax when the client dies? It is also helpful to ask the attorney what the tax consequences will be under different market scenarios. What will happen if the value of the client’s property dramatically appreciates? What will happen if the property declines in value? What will the attorney’s fee include? The client should be clear about what services the Utah estate planning attorney’s fee includes and what services it does not include. The client might ask the attorney if there will be an additional charge for any of the following: – Transferring assets to the revocable trust – Obtaining a tax identification number for an irrevocable trust or a partnership – Preparation of gift tax returns – Preparation of deeds – Preparation of life insurance policy endorsements – Coordination with real estate appraisers – Phone calls to answer questions that the client may have in the future What other fees will there be? When an attorney quotes a fee to the client for the legal work associated with a sophisticated estate planning technique, the client might ask what additional fees, such as real estate appraisals, business valuations and state filing fees will be needed to implement the technique. The client might also ascertain what on-going fees will be needed, such as annual state registration fees and annual accountant fees to prepare additional income tax returns. Can changes be made in the future? Clients often assume that a particular estate planning technique can be unwound if it does not turn out the way the client anticipated. While some plans can be revised, others cannot. Before completing a transaction, the client might ask the attorney whether and to what extent it will be irrevocable. What is the client responsible for? Once the estate plan is implemented, it may fall to the client to keep it operational. The client might ask the attorney to provide her with a list of items for which the client is responsible, including: – Gift tax returns that will need to be filed – Income tax returns that will need to be filed – State registration fees that will need to be paid – Notices that will need to be sent to beneficiaries – Other deadlines This article in no way creates an attorney-client relationship between the reader and either Robert S. Tippett or Bennett Tueller Johnson & Deere, P.C. The reader should consult with his or her own estate planning attorney. About the Author: Robert S. (Rust) Tippett is Of Counsel at Bennett Tueller Johnson & Deere in Salt Lake City. His practice focuses on all aspects of estate planning, including trusts, probate, estate and gift taxation and conservatorships. He is a member of the Utah, California and Pennsylvania Bars. For more detailed information on Utah Estate Planning, visit www.UtahEstatePlanning.org. Copyright 2011 Robert S. Tippett. All Rights Reserved. Article Published On: http://www.articlesnatch.com – Estate-Plan-Trusts 相关的主题文章: