The Swier Law Firm Estate Planning and Probate Law FAQs

The Swier Law Firm Estate Planning and Probate Law FAQs

 

Have questions? We have answers! Our South Dakota attorneys answer the questions they hear most often from clients just like you.

  • Page 7
  • What Does Fiduciary Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Fiduciary Mean In Estate Planning?

    A person or entity that has a legal duty to act for another person, often a beneficiary.  This term is generally associated with a trustee of a trust.

    Example Of Fiduciary In Regards To Estate Planning

    My uncle is the trustee of the trust my dad set up for my brother and I.  I know there’s a lot of money in there so I asked him for money for a sport car, but he says he as a fiduciary duty to hold, invest and pay the assets out in our best interests and he doesn’t think a sports car is in my best interest.

  • What Does Estate Tax, Inheritance Tax and Death Tax Mean In Estate Planning?

     What Does Estate Tax, Inheritance Tax and Death Tax Mean In Estate Planning?

    Taxes due on an estate at the federal or state level.  Based on the current federal estate tax exemption 99.9% of current estates will not be subject to this tax.

    Example Of Estate Tax, Inheritance Tax and Death Tax In Regards To Estate Planning

    I had no idea that my dad’s estate, as a single person, had to be over $11.4 Million dollars before it would be subject to federal estate tax, and a married couple has to have more than $22.8 Million before they will pay federal estate tax.  I hear politicians talking about cutting the federal estate tax all the time, but there’s no way I or anyone I know would ever come close to having to pay it.

  • What Does Net Estate Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Net Estate Mean In Estate Planning?

    The value of an estate after debts have been paid.  This amount is used to determine if taxes are due.

    Example Of Net Estate In Regards To Estate Planning

    After all of the assets had been found and collected and all of the debts had been paid, we took my mom’s net estate and divided it four ways among us kids.

  • What Does Gross Estate Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Gross Estate Mean In Estate Planning?

    The value of an estate before debts are paid.

    Example Of Gross Estate In Regards To Estate Planning

    My dad’s gross estate made it seem like he was super wealthy, but after we subtracted his mortgage, car loans, and credit card debts it was clear that he had lived above his means.

  • What Does Estate Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Estate Mean In Estate Planning?

    The combination of the assets and debts of someone who has died.

  • What Does Health Care Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Medical Power of Attorney Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Health Care Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Medical Power of Attorney Mean In Estate Planning?

    A legal document giving someone else the legal authority to make decisions and obtain information related to your health care.  This is valid through incapacity but ends the moment of death.

    Example Of Health Care Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Medical Power of Attorney In Regards To Estate Planning

    I have named by brother as my power of attorney, but have decided to name by best friend as my health care power of attorney.  My friend is a nurse and lives close by so I think she would be more helpful to me if I need help with medical decisions.

  • What Does Durable Power of Attorney Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Durable Power of Attorney Mean In Estate Planning?

    A legal document giving someone else the legal authority to make general decisions on your behalf when you cannot act for yourself.  This can be limited to doing one thing (signing a mortgage, buying a car) or broad enough to cover anything and everything you make decisions on.  This is valid through incapacity but ends the moment of death.

    Example Of Durable Power of Attorney In Regards To Estate Planning

    My mom has recently started to have problems with her memory and we are both glad she took the time to draft a power of attorney and name me as the one to help her take care of things.

  • What Does Disposition and Dispositive Provisions Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Disposition and Dispositive Provisions Mean In Estate Planning?

    The instructions for distribution or transfer or property or money, generally by a bequest through a will or trust.  The parts of a document that say who will get what, how and when are referred to as the dispositive provisions.

    Example Of Disposition and Dispositive Provisions In Regards To Estate Planning

    The dispositive provisions of my mom’s will say that I can only receive one-fourth of my inheritance now.  I need to wait for the rest and won’t receive it all until I’m 50!  This is so unfair.

  • What Does Disclaimer Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Disclaimer Mean In Estate Planning?

    You cannot be forced to accept an inheritance and there are many reasons why you may not want to accept.  If you don’t want to accept you can disclaim your interest.  

    Disclaimers usually have time limits (generally 9 months), you cannot have accepted any part of benefit of the inheritance, you must disclaim all of it from one source (you can disclaim from the will but take life insurance) and you cannot say what happens to it.

    Example Of Disclaimer In Regards To Estate Planning

    My dad’s estate is supposed to be split among myself and my two siblings.  I am currently in the middle of filing for bankruptcy and I know that if I was to take that inheritance it would immediately be used to pay off some of my debts.  I think I will disclaim my inheritance and let my two siblings divide dad’s estate between the two of them.  I won’t benefit, but at least my siblings can enjoy it instead of my creditors taking it all.

  • What Does Disinherit Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Disinherit Mean In Estate Planning?

    To prevent someone from inheriting (getting money or assets) from you at your death.  (You cannot always disinherit someone.)

    Example Of Disinherit In Regards To Estate Planning

    My parents are so mad at my brother that they have threatened to disinherit him.  They have an appointment coming up with their estate planning attorney so I think they may actually write him out of their wills.