following is a list of some basic updates that have occurred
over the years. This is not meant to be a complete list,
and if you feel that your existing documents do not include
these updates, you should have your documents reviewed by a
qualified estate planning attorney.
2004 - HIPAA Update: More strict Federal
regulations were enacted regarding the confidentiality of your
medical information. Recommendation: Update your
living trust, financial power of attorney, advance health care
directive, and execute a new HIPAA authorization.
2000 - Community Property Agreement Update: California
law now allows married people to agree in writing that they own
their community property in the "aggregate". May be
important for married people with AB type living trust and
substantial value in their retirement accounts.
Recommendation: Update your Community Property Agreement.
2000 - ABC Trust Update: For those married couples
with ABC trusts, the IRS published specific requirements for
making the QTIP trust (C trust) as the beneficiary of a
retirement account). Recommendation: Amend your ABC trust
to conform with IRS rules.
the most watched laws relating to estate planning is the year
2010 issue. On January 1, 2011, the federal estate tax
exemption is scheduled to return to $1 million per person.
This year (2008) the federal estate tax exemption is $2 million
per person. In 2009, it rises to $3.5 million per person.
In the year 2010, the estate tax is repealed. Yeah!
Not so fast. What Congress gives you in one hand, they
take away from the other. Basically the federal estate tax
is being replaced with a capital gains tax.
information flyer. This fact was not well publicized
by the politicians.
unknown is whether Congress will pass a new law to prevent the
federal estate exemption from returning to $1 million per person
in 2011. Anyone's guess. Not knowing what lawmakers
will ultimately do (or not do) in 2011 has caused much
frustration to surviving spouses with AB Disclaimer trusts who
have to decide whether to invoke the "B" part of their trust at
the time of the death of the first spouse. We'll keep an
eye on this issue. Are you optimistic?