New 529 Plan Regulations

With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the use of 529 Plans has been expanded to include elementary or secondary school expenses in addition to college expenses. This use provides an additional benefit to 529 Plans already in place. However, this change comes with one important caveat. Below is an informative summary read more…

Increases to the Annual Gift Exclusion, Lifetime Gift Exclusion and Federal Estate Tax Exemption Amounts

Over the past decade, there have been significant changes to the federal tax laws concerning the estate and gift tax laws. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act that was recently passed and enacted served to increase the lifetime exemption amounts under the estate tax and gift tax. For 2018, the applicable amounts are as follows: read more…

The Importance of Reviewing Your Trust

If you have taken the initial step of meeting with an attorney and have a trust in place, it is still important to review your trust periodically.  While it may be important just to make sure that your property will still go where you want it to go, or that the persons you have named read more…

In the words of the comedian Larry the Cable Guy, get er done!

If you’re waiting to do your powers of attorney until you think you might need them, you’ve waited too long.  Too often we have children contact us because they need to get a power of attorney for their parent.  A power of attorney is not something a child gets from or for the parent – read more…

Why Won’t My Parents’ Lawyer Talk to Me? I’m Just Trying to Help Them!

We understand individuals can sometimes become frustrated when we are ethically prevented from communicating with them.  They call and want to ask questions about their parents’ estate planning, or schedule an appointment on behalf of their parents, who have not done any planning and whose health is now failing.  The family member wants and expects read more…

The Intersection of Business Ownership and Estate Planning

At Cripps & Simmons we consider all of a client’s assets when doing estate planning, including any interests they may own in a business entity. Whether your interest is only as an investor, or you actively participate in a business, we want to know about it. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that a business is read more…

When Is It Time To Update Your Estate Planning?

The short answer is NOW. If you have not at least reviewed your estate planning within the last year or two, you may be leaving loose ends that need some tidying up. While contemplating incapacity and death is never an enjoyable task, it’s critical that your affairs be in order at all times. A good read more…

Business Succession Planning-A Goal-Driven Process

Helping small business owners with their estate planning always brings with it a discussion about what will happen with the business when the owners wish to retire. In many circumstances, the business will constitute the owner’s major asset – constituting not only their primary source of income – but also the asset with the largest read more…

Self-Settled Special Needs Trust

A Long Awaited Special Needs Trust Amidst all of the post-election chaos, a long-awaited change in the availability of Supplemental Needs Trusts was signed into law. The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act , which was part of the 21st Century Cures Act, allows a disabled individual, who is under the age of 65 and has read more…

Who Should I Name As Successor Trustee?

Trust planning has become more popular in recent years as a way for individuals or families to control assets while living, effectively avoid probate, and to provide how assets are to be distributed at death. Once a person or couple have decided to establish a living trust, a major decision to be made is who read more…