December – a Festival of Lights & a Time for Tax Planning …?
As we enter this last month of the Gregorian calendar, we are acutely aware of the contrasts it brings – a Festival of Lights in such a dark month outside, and a holiday time that typically means additional expenses while we explore the tax price we will have to pay for the year’s investments.
We review the calendar year financially, which delivers a stark dose of reality. While we do so, it is advantageous to utilize the information we gather now, for additional purposes as well. To assess your 2011 tax situation, it will help to make a list of all of your assets and debts. Provide details, such as:
- the country in which the asset is located;
- what type of asset it is (bank account, stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.);
- the asset’s worth approximately, as of December, 2011; and
- who owns it: be exact – one spouse or both and jointly or as tenants – copy the title as it appears on a statement or deed.
This is also the first step in your estate planning process. To complete your income and capital gains’ tax planning for 2011, you need to contact your U.S. CPA and Israeli CPA or tax attorney. To continue your estate planning process, you need to have “the Talk”.
First with yourself: begin to visualize how you wish your family’s wealth will look in 5 years, in 10 years, and in 20 years or more. Ponder the following questions: Whom do you wish to provide for financially? What dreams do you have for those people? Do you wish to use your control of the wealth to encourage implementation of those dreams? Where do you personally want to be at each of those intervals? How can your wealth aid you in obtaining these dreams?
Then discuss your plans/dreams with your loved ones, if appropriate. Information shared among family members reduces the risk of litigation later in life, either upon incapacity or upon death. At this point, it is time to contact the estate planner to put in place all vehicles to obtain your dreams.
But Has Any of This Got to Do With Me – I Live in Israel!
Aside from the obvious relevance of this planning to any family that has succeeded in amassing any wealth – retirement plans, life insurance, a home, investments, etc. – estate planning also eliminates:
- your family’s exposure to U.S. Estate Taxes,
- exposure to the U.S. Probate process thereby eliminating the 5-15% probate fee in its entirety and making your assets available to your heirs within days and blocking any creditors’ claims against them;
- your family’s exposure to the sovereign supervision and monitoring of a U.S. Court as a result of a guardianship so as to eliminate the 2% annual court fee and the Court’s conservative supervision of their assets.
You may not be aware that your wealth is subject to U.S. taxation and Court fees, but it is unless you do something about it. December is the month to act!
Experienced U.S. Estate Planning Attorney Felicia M. Seaton understands what your estate plan should include to maintain your family’s best interests throughout difficult times. She can help you formulate a thorough plan to give you peace of mind. Contact her today click here or call 0526182582/US: 3028923336.