Should You Give All of Your Assets to Your Adult Child?

Deciding whether or not to gift something over the course of your life or to pass it on once you are no longer around is an important decision, especially with regard to the federal gift tax. Every person can gift up to $15000 per year free of gift tax. This means that you do not have to file a gift tax return and that no taxes have to be paid on that amount.

Very few Americans will have to worry about the estate tax given the current exemption amount. But passing everything on to one child can be an extreme choice and could have risks that you might not know about.

First of all, this means that one child will own everything, and this was passed on while you were still alive. You as an individual or as a couple could become financially dependent on them for everything that your current income stream does not cover.

If your loved one receives all of your assets but changes their mind about taking care of you, there is nothing you can do about it. Furthermore, if your child goes bankrupt, divorces or dies, the money could also be lost. Consider any potential and capital gains tax implications in making any transfers and decide with the assistance of an experienced and trusted lawyer the most appropriate course of action.

With all that should be considered in passing on assets, turning to a trusted Virginia Beach estate planning law firm helps you pin down all the details and leave behind a thought-out plan for your loved ones.

 

Not Married? You Still Need an Estate Plan

As an unmarried couple, you might assume that you don’t have as much at stake if something were to happen to you or your partner. Whether you’ve legally tied the knot or not, you still need to think about how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Adding children to your family is certainly an excellent opportunity to revisit and revise your estate planning tools and documents, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t neglect the process of estate planning now while you have the opportunity.

Many different estate planning tools and strategies can be used while you are still alive. Some of the most important relate to empowering someone else to make decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to do so. A financial or medical power of attorney authorizes another agent acting for you to make these decisions if you become incapacitated and cannot render them on your own.

These documents can be instrumental for you to have if you have specific wishes or intentions so that you can discuss these with your spouse, or any other person appointed as your power of attorney agent. Furthermore, unmarried couples can benefit from estate planning in terms of a discussion about who will receive your assets if you pass away. Unmarried partners, however, do not benefit from the same laws that protect married partners.

There are laws in place to protect spouses and couples where at least one person has failed to plan properly. But this does not mean that these same protections extend to unmarried couples. From beneficiary designations to a durable power of attorney to joint ownership; there are many different options available to unmarried couples that should be discussed with a Virginia Beach estate planning lawyer.