Hunt & Associates P.C.

Aug 3, 2017

Estate Planning Issues for Married Couples

Elderly coupleAmong the more common estate plans for married couples is what is sometimes referred to as a sweetheart estate plan.  Such a plan provides for the entirety of the deceased spouse’s estate to pass to the surviving spouse; on the death of the surviving spouse, whatever remains will pass to the couple’s children or other designated heirs.  Mutual reciprocal wills can be used to accomplish this intent.  Of course, on the death of the surviving … Read more

Jul 18, 2017

Standalone Retirement Trusts and Estate Planning

Piggy bankIn a recent blog, we discussed the advantages of incorporating your retirement plan (i.e., pension plans, 401(k) plans, employer established IRA plans, etc.) into your overall estate plan. As we discussed, this can be a complex matter because the tax advantages which are accorded to retirement accounts are generally not extended to heirs or designated beneficiaries once the retirement account owner has died.

By way of summary, we have identified three goals you may … Read more

Jun 12, 2017

Retirement Plans and Estate Planning

RetirementRetirement plans (i.e., pension plans, 401(k) plans, employer established IRA plans, etc.)  account for the majority of assets held by most Americans.  Plans which meet certain legal requirements set forth under the federal ERISA law enjoy favorable tax treatment in order to promote growth and provide a comfortable retirement for the account holder.  For example, the account holder is permitted to defer taking any distributions from his/her retirement account until the calendar year in which … Read more

Feb 14, 2017

What Happens When Dad Gives Your Inheritance to His New Girlfriend?

InheritanceMost folks will acknowledge that an adult of sound mind is free to give his money and property to whomever he pleases, both during his lifetime and after death, as directed by his estate plan.  Such an acknowledgement, however, is subject to qualification, particularly when the soundness of the giver’s mind is called into question.  This can arise in a variety of scenarios, often when the giver makes someone new the object of his affections … Read more

Feb 7, 2017

Will the Federal Estate Tax Be Repealed this Year? If So, Will Anyone Notice?

House of RepresentativesCompanion bills have been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the Senate to repeal the federal estate tax.  On January 24, 2017, Representative Noem introduced H.R. 631 which was referred to the House’s Ways and Means Committee for consideration.   The same day, Senator Thune introduced comparable legislation in the Senate.  If enacted by Congress and signed by President Trump, no federal estate tax would be assessed against estates of decedents dying thereafter.… Read more

Jan 31, 2017

What Becomes Of Fido When You Are No Longer There?

OllieWhen most people think of estate planning, I would venture a guess that their thoughts don’t usually include making provision for their pets in the event of their own untimely passing.  That is not surprising given that most of us assume, correctly, that we will outlive our beloved four-legged companions.  However, experience shows that such is not always the case.  So, as you look deeply into the eyes of your faithful and devoted canine/feline, ask … Read more

Jan 23, 2017

The New Year Brings Some Changes to Estate Planning

Tax - 012317With the change of the calendar to a new year, there are some changes in the law which might be of interest to you and even impact your estate plan.  For example:

  • In the State of Washington, the “applicable exclusion amount” has increased from $2,079,000.00 to $2,129,000.00. By statute, the change in the exclusion tax is calculated by reference to the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton metropolitan area October consumer price index (CPI).  So, a Washington resident who dies
Read more

Jan 6, 2017

Oregon Court Says “No” to DHS’ Medicaid Rule Change

Supreme Court - 010617In a long-awaited decision, the Oregon Supreme Court has struck down Medicaid repayment rules issued by the Department of Human Services in 2008.  The court ruled that DHS did not have the legal authority to issue rules which would allow it to recover Medicaid payments from assets a Medicaid recipient transferred to his or her spouse up to five years prior to applying for Medicaid.  The decision upholds a 2014 ruling from a lower court … Read more

Dec 20, 2016

Disabled Individuals Can Now Establish Their Own Special Needs Trusts

vintage-1537992_1920Congress has just enacted legislation that allows disabled beneficiaries of means tested programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to establish their own special needs trusts.  Until now, such trusts had to be established by persons other than the disabled individual even when the trust’s funding source was the disabled individual’s own assets.  The new law, known as the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, changes that and allows such trusts to be established … Read more

Dec 9, 2016

Oregon Launches its ABLE Savings Plan

Piggy bankBeginning December 6, 2016, Oregonians can take advantage of the federal “ABLE Act” which allows persons with disabilities to establish accounts which can be used to pay their disability related expenses.[1]  Those eligible can now open an ABLE account by enrolling via the Oregon ABLE website.  The enrollment process is estimated to require no more than 15 minutes to complete.

Up to $14,000.00 can be contributed to an ABLE account each year without … Read more