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Are You Tired of Estate Planning?

TiredDespite their wealth and business savvy, more than one-third of high-net-worth families have not taken the most basic steps to protect and provide for their loved ones when they die, according to a recent survey by CNBC.com. The CNBC Millionaire Survey found 38 percent of those with investable assets of $1 million or more have not used a financial expert to establish an estate plan, while 62 percent have. 

CNBC.com’s recent article, “Wealthy suffer from 'estate-planning fatigue',” says that those with $5 million or more (68%) were more likely to seek help with estate planning, compared to those with $1 million to $5 million in assets (61%), according to the survey. The poll covered 750 millionaires. The political break down was as follows: Republicans (68%) were more likely to use an estate planning expert to create an estate plan than Democrats (61%) or Independents (58%). 

The article says that the constant changes to the federal estate-tax law for nearly 10 years (until this was made permanent in 2013) left many rich folks in "estate-planning fatigue." Those estate planners interviewed in the article point out that our country has had quite a bit of uncertainty with estate taxes. Each of the changes led attorneys and advisors to contact their clients and encourage them to keep their documents up-to-date and to incorporate the changes as needed. Finally, clients said they’d had their fill. 

In addition to this, the higher federal estate-tax exemption amount—now at $5.43 million per person—has also made estate planning less of a priority for many wealthy families. Many people believe estate planning is just for reducing estate taxes, the article explained. So if they don't have to pay estate tax, they may feel like there’s really no reason to do any estate planning. 

However, bear in mind that there are still 15 states that impose their own estate taxes, and these can become applicable at much lower thresholds. For instance, the exemption for New Jersey is $675,000 and Rhode Island's is $921,655. Based on where you live, estate taxes may still be an issue. 

So there’s a lot to cover with an estate planning attorney. Speak with an experienced estate planning attorney because there’s a lot more to this than the size of one's taxable estate. You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.  However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project.  Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707. 

Reference: CNBC.com (June 29, 2015) “Wealthy suffer from 'estate-planning fatigue'”

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
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  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
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Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.