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Estate Planning Blog

News & Tips From The Law Office Of Libby Banks.

Using an Estate Planning Attorney is a Good Plan

As an estate planning attorney, I often get calls from people who’ve used online trust or will planning software or gone to a cheap trust mill to put their plan together. Sometimes, they go to their brother-in-law, the corporate lawyer, who uses a form he found in a book to put the plan together. When I’m asked about whether these are good ideas, I like to tell a story about my dear husband. My husband Andy is a great handyman. It’s wonderful that I can ask him to fix things around the house and know he will do it right. When...

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Shepston Law Firm Is Joining The Law Office of Libby Banks

The following announcement was recently made in our newsletter: Dear Shepston Law Firm Clients, It is with excitement and some sadness that Allyson Shepston Bibler announces the closing of her law firm to take an extended sabbatical. As always, her first and foremost priority is her clients. After much deliberation, Allyson has transferred all client files to The Law Office of Libby Banks, PLLC to permit continued access and ongoing client care. Allyson has known Libby for years and both are WealthCounsel estate planning attorneys. While the Law Office of Libby Banks, PLLC is willing to maintain your file and assist you...

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Different Trusts Meet Different Needs in Your Estate Plan

There are a number of different types of trusts we use when doing an estate plan. Here is a bit of information about a few of the most common trusts. The Revocable Living Trust The primary trust we use in estate planning is the Revocable Living Trust (“RLT”). It is the foundation of most estate plans and has many benefits. It contains instructions for managing the assets in the trust during your life, upon your death, and if you become incapacitated. The RLT will also avoid the need for a probate court proceeding on your death. You can select the person(s) who...

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Asset Protection for Your Heirs

I was asked recently by a client whether the revocable living trust we were creating for him would protect his assets from his creditors. The answer is no. While the revocable trust is a great estate planning and probate avoidance tool, it is not an asset protection trust. Because you still have full control over the assets in your revocable living trust, the law recognizes that they are your assets, and your creditors can get to them in the same way as if they were in your personal name and not in your trust. I went on to tell him that while...

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Estate Planning – Who Needs It?

Who Needs Estate Planning? Many people, when they hear the words “estate planning,” don’t think it applies to them. “I don’t have an estate to plan!” they may say. I think this comes about from the use of the word “estate.” The word is often used to refer to the mansions and real estate holdings of the rich and famous. But the definition of an estate is “all of the things that a person owns.” In other words, your estate is the sum of your stuff: your home, your bank accounts, your stocks and bonds, your retirement account, your cars and boat, and...

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On The Road Again! Are You Ready for Vacation?

For many of us, it’s an exciting time. A whole year of isolation is coming to an end and travel is on the horizon. But are you truly ready for that trip? You may need to be sure your estate plan is in order before you hit the road. Here are some thoughts on getting things done before your trip. 1. Make sure you have guardians in place for minor children. If you have minor children, it’s crucial to have documents in place appointing guardians, especially if you are traveling without them. Don’t leave this to chance, or worse, to the...

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The Biden Tax Plan and Your Estate

With the advent of a new administration usually comes change. President Biden’s tax plan may affect your estate planning adversely. Here are a few key points of the plan. Estate and Gift Taxes May Increase: Arizona has no estate taxes. On the federal level, each person has an estate and gift tax exemption – the amount you can give away during life and at death before being taxed – that is currently $11.7 Million. Biden’s plan would reduce the federal exemption to $3.5 Million for estate taxes at death, and $1 Million for gifts made during your lifetime. The plan also proposes to...

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