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Estate planning trends Rochester residents should know

Estate planning includes a number of complex issues and documents such as wills and trusts and assets and debts. Keeping up with all the rules and trends related to estate planning can be difficult to do, which is one reason to seek professional advice about such situations. Here are four current trends in estate planning that may be of interest to some Rochester residents.

One trend regards whether disbursements from trusts can be garnished. The issue involves a decision in another state that says a disbursement made from a trust can be subject to garnishments in some cases. Because of this, some individuals are seeking stronger trust situations to better protect their funds. Sometimes, the preferred solution is placing funds in a trust in a state that offers more protection.

Trusts aren't the only reason that individuals might move estate funds and planning to different states. Some individuals move trusts to other states to save on income taxes. As of Jan. 1, however, that is not possible for those in New York, due to a state law that treats certain out-of-state trusts as taxable.

Another recent change in trusts relates to foreign individuals with trust holdings in the United States. In the past, trusts were only held by foreign individuals when those people had green card status, children or grandchildren in the country or owned real estate in the country. Today, however, some individuals are protecting assets from their home governments by placing them in U.S. trusts.

Passing money to others via trusts results in an enormous federal tax break. In 15 states, individuals can use that same estate function to create self-settled trusts, protecting money for themselves. These are only some trends in estate planning; estates remain complex legal matters, so understanding local, state and federal laws is essential to protecting heirs and assets.

Source: WealthManagement.com, "What’s Trending in The Estate-Planning World" Al W. King, III, Jul. 24, 2014

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