Blog   Tagged ‘will’

Financial Word of the Week: Credit Shelter Trust

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Financial Word of the Week - credit shelter trust

A Credit Shelter Trust (also known as family trust, non-marital trust or bypass trust) is one that is usually employed as part of a married individual’s estate plan. Upon the death of the first spouse, it is funded with the estate tax exempt amount, sometimes referred to as the Unified Credit. Such a trust is often structured to provide benefits to a decedent’s surviving spouse, without triggering estate tax upon the second spouse’s death. Property in the credit shelter trust can then pass through to descendants upon the death of the surviving spouse with no estate taxes paid by the estate of either spouse. In 2015, the estate tax exempt amount is $5,430,000.

In light of the high exemption amount, it is always a good time to update your estate plan with your legal advisor.

 

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Estate Tax

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Financial Word of the Week - estate tax

If you’re an heir to a relative or friend’s estate, you need to know what an estate tax is AND realize that there’s a good chance it may not apply to you as it once would have in the past. Estate tax is a transfer tax imposed when someone passes away and leaves his or her assets to you. Currently, the federal government and 16 individual states charge an estate tax.

The federal estate tax rate is currently at 40 percent. Fortunately, the tax code allows all individuals to pass a certain amount of assets (either during their lifetime, at death or a combination of both) before those transfers are subject to the federal estate tax. This amount has jumped dramatically in the past 15 years, going from $675,000 in 2001 to $5,430,000 in 2015. As a result, many estates will not be subject to a federal estate tax.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Corporate Fiduciary

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Financial Word of the Week - corporate fiduciary

A corporate fiduciary is a financial institution that exercises fiduciary‡ responsibility for the benefit of an individual or individuals. Mostly commonly, it’s children and the elderly who need fiduciaries. A fiduciary exercises a high standard of care in managing another’s money or property. Fiduciaries can be known by many names – trustee, executor and conservator are a few common examples of fiduciaries in an estate planning context. For more, read our post on “What are fiduciaries and why do you need them?”

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Corporate fiduciary vs. individual fiduciary

Some of the advantages to hiring a corporate fiduciary over an individual fiduciary include gaining the institution’s financial expertise, neutrality, longevity, and high standard of care. Corporate fiduciaries have these pros:

  • many years of experience in managing and investing funds for clients,
  • no ties to any one beneficiary, and so will be in the best place to follow the grantor’s wishes,
  • longevity that eliminates concerns that death or disability of an individual fiduciary will  interfere with management of assets, and
  • will exercise a high standard of care, as they have internal safeguards and audits to ensure compliance to state and federal regulations governing fiduciary conduct.

Regardless of the nature of the role, the aim of a corporate fiduciary is to make the best financial decision for the beneficial owner of any assets under its supervision.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Charitable Remainder Trust

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Financial Word of the Week - charitable remainder trust

Conceptually, a charitable remainder trust (CRT) is similar to a charitable lead trust (CLT), except the payouts happen in the reverse order. In fact, a CRT is a trust that provides for distributions  to one or more individuals for a term specified under the terms of the CRT, with the balance passing to one or more charities at the end of the specified term.  The individuals generally receive an annual payment equal to a fixed annuity amount or a percentage of the trust assets valued annually.  The individuals will generally receive these payments either for a term of years (up to 20 years) or throughout the lives of one or more named individuals.

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Unlike a CLT, a CRT is considered a tax-exempt trust, and the trust itself does not pay any taxes. This allows the donor a current charitable deduction for contributions made to the CRT with the amount of the deduction being the present value of the remainder interest that will pass to charity. This makes a CRT a great vehicle for highly appreciated assets as the assets can be contributed to the CRT and the assets will not generate any tax to the trust when sold inside the CRT. However, it is important to note that the payments made to the individuals, may be subject to taxes at the individual level. Also, it is important to note that in order to receive the tax benefits and to qualify as a CRT, the IRS has placed certain restrictions on how a CRT must be structured, this is in part to ensure that a portion of the assets will in fact pass to the designated charities.

For more information on estate planning, check out our post on the benefits of a will.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Charitable Lead Trust

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Financial Word of the Week - beneficiary

Last week, we told you what a beneficiary is and advice on how to name them in your will, trust or life insurance policy.

A charitable lead trust (CLT) is an irrevocable trust that provides an income interest to one or more charities with the remainder either reverting back to the donor, or passing to one or more individuals named by the donor. The charities generally receive an annual payment equal to a fixed annuity amount or a percentage of the trust assets valued annually.  The trust can be established for the charitable payout to last for a term of years, based on a measuring life, or a combination of the two. After the end of the charitable period, the remaining property will pass to the individuals as specified in the trust (frequently the family members of the donor). The grantor may qualify, depending on the arrangement, for a current income tax charitable deduction for the present value of the charitable gift.

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CLTs are a highly useful way to simultaneously support a charitable organization of the settlor’s choice while still retaining the assets long term for the use of the settlor or his beneficiaries.

For more information on estate planning, check out our post on the benefits of a will.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Beneficiary

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Financial Word of the Week - beneficiary

The technical definition of a beneficiary is one who benefits from the act of another.  In the financial world, the term beneficiary is used in many contexts, generally to describe an individual or entity that is to receive an interest in property.

Some of the most common uses of the term beneficiary include:

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  • naming a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, retirement plan or IRA,
  • designating the individuals who are to receive an interest in property upon the death of the original owner (generally through the use of a Will or trust), and
  • using a transfer on death or pay on death designation on a financial account (such a s a checking account, savings account or investment account).

When you’re designating beneficiaries, you can generally name individuals, charities, organizations or trusts. You might even list a group of individuals, such as surviving family members.

Many financial advisors urge clients to review their list of beneficiaries as often as possible, but most importantly after a life-changing event in which their financial priorities may have changed. This may include a death of a loved one, birth, marriage, divorce, a significant change in the individual’s financial situation or a significant change to the tax law.

It’s important to be as specific as possible when naming beneficiaries to avoid any confusion once the benefactor passes away. You should state how the benefits are doled out if one or more beneficiaries are not able to receive their distribution. This could occur if a person lists four children as beneficiaries, with each listed to receive one-fourth of the estate. If one of those children passes away before the benefactor, it could affect the distribution process if clear conditional instructions have not been included. You should also consider whether you would like the named beneficiary to have complete access to the assets or if you would like to restrict access in some manner.  For example, for many assets it may be possible to name a trust as the beneficiary and have the trust provide for limited distributions to the individuals for their health, education, maintenance and support (or however the benefactor desires to limit the distributions).

Because the naming of beneficiaries can have a substantial impact on your financial and estate plan, it is important to visit with your attorney or financial planner to see what options are available and to determine how such designations impact your individual plan.

For more information on estate planning, check out our post on the benefits of a will.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Estate planning and how to avoid probate

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probate and wills

In a recent blog post, we discussed what might happen if you pass away without a will and what might happen with a will. When you pass away owning property in your sole name (regardless of if you have a will or not), your assets might need to go through probate in order for your heirs to inherit your property. Having a will does not avoid probate—it just determines who will receive your property. If you die owning property in your sole name without a will, your estate still passes through probate—but who receives your property will typically be determined under the laws of the state where your primary residence is at your date of death (the “intestacy laws”).

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Probate is a court process to provide for an organized way of winding up a deceased person’s affairs. During this process, a personal representative or executor is appointed by the Probate Court to supervise the collection of your probate assets, payment of your final bills and taxes, and distribution of your assets according to either your will or the intestacy laws. This may or may not be what you intend and might be more expensive than if you made other plans in advance.

Avoiding Probate

There are ways to distribute your property at your death according to your wishes without going through probate. While the techniques might vary from state to state, these typically include:

  • titling property jointly with another (“joint tenants with rights of survivorship”)
  • creating a beneficiary deed for real estate
  • adding a “transfer on death” or “pay on death” designation to assets, such as bank or investment accounts, or by beneficiary designation for assets such as your retirement plan, IRA or life insurance
  • creating a “revocable” or “living” trust and retitling your assets in the name of your trust

The trustee holds the legal title to the property owned in the revocable trust, not you as owner. The trust property is held by the trustee for your benefit during your lifetime.  You can choose to serve as your own trustee as long as you are able. At your death, the property held in the trust is distributed by the successor trustee of the trust to those family members, friends or charities you name in your trust agreement, similar to the instructions you can leave in your will.

A Living Trust

There are many advantages to creating a living trust:

  • Control: You can be your own trustee during your lifetime and then you name a successor trustee (such as a bank) to serve after you cannot or do not wish to serve.
  • Flexibility: You can typically change the terms of the trust at any time while you are living. If you become disabled, your successor trustee can step in and pay your bills, manage your investments and allow you to avoid “living probate” where otherwise a court appointed conservator might be needed to manage your affairs. You can create trusts for your minor children or grandchildren to be created after your death, hold assets in further trust for disabled or disadvantaged beneficiaries and even create trusts for charities.
  • Privacy: The terms of the trust and its assets and values are typically private, unlike a probate proceeding, which is a public matter where your will (if any) and list of assets are filed with the court and open to inspection by anyone.

Your living trust would be part of your overall estate plan, which would likely include a “pour over will” (just in case assets weren’t retitled into your trust’s name at your death), powers of attorney for financial and healthcare decisions and a living will.

 

Be sure to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss what estate plan is right for you under the circumstances.  We also recommend discussing your options with a wealth advisor who can assist you with your financial goals, working together with your attorney and other trusted advisors.

 

 

UMB is not providing you with any legal or tax advice.  You need to consult with your own legal and tax advisors to determine what estate plan is best for you and how the laws of the state governing your estate might affect you given your specific circumstances.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Teson is a Senior Vice President and Private Wealth Management’s Senior Legal Counsel at UMB Bank. She is responsible for managing Private Wealth Management’s Legal, Fiduciary Tax and Real Estate and Unique Asset teams. She joined UMB in 1992 and has been a licensed attorney for 32 years. She is also a Certified Financial Planner.



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Benefits of a will

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A will allows you to protect and distribute your property owned by you at your death* through a written legal document. By detailing who should inherit what, you try to ensure that your possessions are distributed by your wishes, rather than state laws.  Remember, having a will does not mean that your estate will avoid probate.
Benefits of Having a Will

*Your will only affects property owned by you at your death titled in your sole name. It typically does not affect property which is owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, which passes by beneficiary deed or designation, including “Pay on Death” or “Transfer on Death,” or which is owned by a trust.

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UMB is not providing you with any legal or tax advice.  You need to consult with your own legal and tax advisors to determine what estate plan is best for you and how the laws of the state governing your estate might affect you given your specific circumstances.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Teson is a Senior Vice President and Private Wealth Management’s Senior Legal Counsel at UMB Bank. She is responsible for managing Private Wealth Management’s Legal, Fiduciary Tax and Real Estate and Unique Asset teams. She joined UMB in 1992 and has been a licensed attorney for 32 years. She is also a Certified Financial Planner.



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Fiduciaries: what are they and why do you need them?

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One of the most important items in your estate planning process is naming the fiduciaries who will execute your wishes and manage your assets when needed. First, you may be wondering what exactly is a fiduciary. Very simply, a fiduciary is a third-party representative who is appointed to act on behalf of someone else.

Two of the most common fiduciaries in estate planning are the personal representative, the person who handles the assets that are included in someone’s last will and testament; and a trustee, someone who handles the assets that have been placed in a trust.

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So, why do you need a fiduciary and how do you choose the right one? Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Carefully select a fiduciary that you trust to execute your plans.

    Handling an estate may seem like a simple process that anyone can easily manage. However, don’t underestimate both the amount of work and the expertise needed to carry out required duties.

    First, there are a variety of laws that must be navigated, including complicated probate laws. Additionally, accounting for estates and trusts can be extremely technical and require excellent record keeping and tracking. Your fiduciaries must be able to show through proper accounting that they have handled and managed the estate and its assets in an accurate, fair and unbiased manner. If you pick someone who is lacking in knowledge or organizational skills they are at risk for liability and personal fines.

    Tax planning is also a necessary expertise—it’s imperative that an estate is run in a tax-efficient manner. Fiduciaries must understand how their actions affect the estate or trust as well as the beneficiaries. This includes how assets are invested and distributed since trusts are subject to different tax rates and laws than individuals or corporations.

  • There may be disagreements.

    Secondly, you may truly believe that your family members and friends will easily work together and agree on how your assets should be handled. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Appointing a family member or friend frequently causes tension or distress that may not have existed before. If not handled properly, this can easily result in stress, damaged relations or, in some cases, legal action between or against your loved ones.

  • You don’t have to be wealthy to use a professional fiduciary.

    Employing a professional fiduciary is cost-effective, and something you should think about even if you do not consider yourself to be a high-net-worth individual. Your immediate reaction may be that it’s more expensive to hire a fiduciary to handle everything, rather than seeking individual counsel from different experts as needed. However, in many cases, a fiduciary’s cost will be equal to or less expensive.

At the end of the day, it’s in your best interest to carefully research your options to select the appropriate fiduciary for your own unique situation. Designating the right person to efficiently and quickly handle these details in a difficult time is truly one of the best gifts you can leave behind.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Tjaden serves as executive vice president and chief fiduciary officer. He is responsible for supervising all fiduciary activities and staff for UMB, including offices in Kansas City, St. Louis, Denver, Phoenix and Salina, as well as the Trust Company in South Dakota. Mr. Tjaden oversees Personal Trust, Custody, Foundations, Trust Legal and Business Support Services within the Private Wealth Management division. He joined UMB in 1977. Mr. Tjaden earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and political science from Kansas State University. He also earned a Juris Doctor and a master’s in business administration from the University of Kansas. Additionally, Mr. Tjaden is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor and a member of the Estate Planning Society, the Johnson County Bar Association and the Kansas Bar Association.



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Estate Planning: What will your legacy be?

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You don’t have to be a millionaire to set up an estate plan. Have you thought about passing down a family heirloom to one of your children? Maybe you’ve considered leaving money to a charity that benefits public arts funding. When you’ve spent your life acquiring assets and building wealth through hard work, it’s only natural to want some control over what happens to them after you’re gone. The best way do this is to have a sound estate plan.

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As you form your estate plan, keep in mind several key ideas.

  • Pick your heirs

    Whether you want to pay for your grandchildren’s college education or give a ring that’s been in your family for generations to your oldest daughter, decide who you want to provide for and how.

  • Provide direction

    If you have specific ideas about how you want your assets to be used when you’re gone, make sure that those ideas are clear in your estate plan. You may want to start a family foundation that supports children’s literacy or structure a trust that holds money you’ve left for your children until they reach a certain age. Whatever special objectives you have, clearly outline them in your estate plan to ensure they’re accomplished.

  • Protect your children

    If you have young children, it’s important to select a guardian to care for them and include this in your will. This may seem like an impossible task, but only you should decide who is best suited for the job. Be sure to talk to them about it before you put them in your will. Having a conversation with them ahead of time will prevent surprises and ensure they are up to the responsibility. Once they agree, make sure it’s documented. If you name a guardian in your will, the probate court will be more likely to honor your wishes. If you don’t list a guardian in your will, the court will select one without guidance.

  • Prevent legal hiccups

    Generally, assets owned by one person are subject to probate after they have passed. Probate is a name for the legal process conducted to determine the authenticity of a will and to distribute the assets of an estate. Probate involves legal costs and causes delays in the distribution process.

To avoid probate and minimize taxes on your assets, you can place part or all of them in a trust. One option is a “self declaration of trust,” where you are responsible for the assets while you are still alive (initial trustee) and a professional third party is responsible for distributing the assets after you are gone (successor trustee). Another option is to name the professional third-party as the trustee while you are still alive.

Many people tend to put off estate planning. But it is an important process for you to consider. It’s an opportunity to take control of future planning for yourself and your beneficiaries. It can be a difficult, but if successfully completed, this seemingly impossible task becomes an efficient and well-executed plan.

 

Content is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.  Please consult an attorney for assistance related to estate plans and your particular situation.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Tjaden serves as executive vice president and chief fiduciary officer. He is responsible for supervising all fiduciary activities and staff for UMB, including offices in Kansas City, St. Louis, Denver, Phoenix and Salina, as well as the Trust Company in South Dakota. Mr. Tjaden oversees Personal Trust, Custody, Foundations, Trust Legal and Business Support Services within the Private Wealth Management division. He joined UMB in 1977. Mr. Tjaden earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and political science from Kansas State University. He also earned a Juris Doctor and a master’s in business administration from the University of Kansas. Additionally, Mr. Tjaden is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor and a member of the Estate Planning Society, the Johnson County Bar Association and the Kansas Bar Association.



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