As the year draws to a close, it’s an ideal time to evaluate your estate plan and financial strategies to ensure they align with your goals. Regular reviews can confirm that your objectives are met and that you’re maximizing tax-saving opportunities. Here’s a structured approach to year-end estate planning considerations.
Maximizing Gift Giving Opportunities
The holiday season often prompts thoughts of generosity, encompassing charitable donations and personal gifts to loved ones. Understanding the annual exclusion is crucial, as it allows for tax-free gifting up to a certain amount without the need for a gift tax return. In 2023, you can give $17,000 per recipient or $34,000 per married couple. Remember, these allowances reset annually and don’t roll over, so it’s wise to use them or lose them.
Strategic Wealth Transfer for High Net-Worth Individuals
For those with substantial assets, strategic planning is key. With the current lifetime gift and estate tax exemption at $12.92 million, set to reduce post-2025, it’s time to consider trusts, philanthropic gifts, and other wealth transfer methods. An estate planning attorney can guide you through these complex decisions to optimize your financial legacy.
Annual Estate Plan Health Check
Whether starting fresh with estate planning or updating existing documents, an annual review is recommended. Changes in your life should be reflected in your will, trusts, and other estate documents. Here’s what to focus on:
- Asset Inventory: Ensure your asset list is current and reflects any significant changes.
- Beneficiary Updates: Confirm that your chosen beneficiaries, executors, and trustees are current and capable.
- Legal Document Review: Revisit your will, trusts, medical directives, and powers of attorney for any necessary updates.
- Retirement Accounts: Consider recent changes in IRA payout rules and their impact on your estate plan and beneficiaries.
Hopper Cummings: Your Estate Planning Partners
At Hopper Cummings, we specialize in crafting and updating estate plans tailored to your unique situation. Our attorneys have the expertise to navigate the complexities of estate planning, ensuring your plan remains effective and relevant. For personalized guidance or to review and refresh your estate plan, reach out for a confidential consultation at 919-533-4115 or complete our online form by clicking a connect button on any page of this website.
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Client and Peer Reviews
Ms. Hopper was patient and detail oriented. ... Overall, the process was efficient, well-organized and painless. If you’re looking for someone to assist with your will and advance directives, we would highly recommend Hopper Cummings.
Seeing that Robert Cummings is going to be my opposing counsel in a family law case means that case is going to be fought fairly, efficiently, and intelligently, without expensive 'lawyer games' or undue delays. I have and will continue to refer cases to him.
My family has used Hopper Cummings for estate planning and wills as well as occasional legal advice. The process was always efficient, respectful, and individualized to our specific needs. This is the benefit of a local firm -- I highly recommend them for any civil law needs!
I refer all family law matters to Robert Cummings because I have confidence in the way he interacts with clients.
My husband and I worked with Marie Cummings and her team to complete our estate planning. This is not an easy task for anyone, and we so appreciated Marie's experience, expertise, patience, and support. ... We are happy to offer a wholehearted recommendation for Marie and her colleagues.
I came to Mr. Cummings during the most difficult time of my life. He helped me navigate the divorce process in a no-nonsense way. ... His voice of reason helped me to stay calm and focused on the task at hand. I highly recommend Mr. Cummings to anyone in my position.
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Robert is a highly effective attorney. I have referred several people to him and have heard nothing but positive experiences. He understands the law and cares about his clients.
We have worked with Hopper Cummings on several occasions, from estate planning to starting a 501(c)(4). They are welcoming and responsive. They explain things in easy-to-understand terms and set reasonable expectations. We highly recommend Hopper Cummings!
Robert Cummings represented a family member in a moving violation. He was responsive to all of my questions and very professional in explaining how the system worked and what needed to be done to help resolve the ticket with the best possible outcome. I would recommend his office and their services.
Robert and his team were amazing ... was successfully able to move the court date forward and have the ticket resolved and diligently e-mailed us all the confirmations as well. Thank you to his team and we would highly recommend them.
Robert understands traffic law and he is a very effective advocate for his clients. I have referred several clients to Robert and he always does a great job.
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Great experience! I received my first moving violation in about 20 yrs .... called Hopper Cummings for assistance. The process from first contact to resolution went smoothly. Highly recommend!
Excellent Family Law Attorney.
Awesome lawyer worked hard to get the best outcome for me on a very complicated case. I would recommend Robert Cummings, he cared about my case and represented me very well. Would use him again.
Robert is an experienced, thoughtful and professional attorney. He exhibits the highest standards in his practice.
Robert was quick to return my call, even on a day he was in court. He was knowledgeable and friendly as was his staff. His honesty and hard work is definitely an asset.
Robert does a great job managing a large traffic law caseload yet representing each client zealously. He understands the local procedure for a large traffic caseload and navigates that system with ease.
Robert Cummings is an excellent attorney with a high level of integrity and compassion.