Estate Planning FAQs
Why do I need an estate plan?
Everyone has the right to decide what happens to the people and
things that are most important to them. Those who choose not to
take advantage of this opportunity are subject to the default rules
and regulations provided by government statutes or business policy
What are some basic estate planning vehicles?
An estate plan should include a Last Will and Testament. A Will
distributes property that is owned by someone no longer living.
A Will provides the ability to choose who will inherit this property,
appoints guardians of any minor children, and names personal representatives
to settle the affairs of the estate. A Will can also benefit favorite
charities and/or organizations. Without a Will, the state of Nebraska
decides who get whatever is left over after court costs and legal
What are some more comprehensive estate planning vehicles?
Revocable trusts (sometimes known as living trusts or inter vivos
trusts) should be used in comprehensive estate planning when tax
planning or asset management is a significant goal of the planning
process. A revocable living trust is formed to hold title to real
and personal property of the creator during life. (See Illustrations
for more examples)
What are the benefits of having a Revocable Trust rather than
Last Will and Testament?
Revocable living trusts can be used to enhance estate settlement
and avoid the probate process. Revocable living trusts provide for
the orderly use and transfer of the real personal property upon
the creator’s death.
Do I need any estate planning documents while I am living?
Yes. Any adult over the age of 19 should consider executing a power
of attorney. Power of attorney documents name those individuals
that will make decisions for you regarding your health care and/or
assets if you become incapacitated. Power of attorney documents
can include a HIPAA waiver, as it allows your loved ones, hospitals
and insurance companies to obtain vital information about your health
if you are incapacitated and unable to sign the waiver due to incapacitation.
If power of attorney documents are not executed, others outside
of your control will make decisions over your health care and property.
(See Illustrations for more examples)
What is the difference between a power of attorney for health
care and a living will?
A Living Will declares the end of life decisions made by an individual
that determine whether that individual’s life shall be artificially
prolonged under a certain set of circumstances. Making this decision
in advance and in writing protects loved ones from making the decision
under emotional distress. A power of attorney allows you to appoint
an Attorney-in-Fact to exercise a list of powers, as described in
the power of attorney document, including making medical decisions
on your behalf upon incapacitation.
Business Planning FAQs
What is a limited liability company?
A Limited Liability Company is a non-corporate business entity formed
according to Nebraska State statutes that provides owners protection
against unlimited personal liability from creditors and third parties.
The owners, not the entity, are responsible for the payment of the
tax, if any. A limited liability company is typically established
instead of a corporation if the owners would like the business to
be structured more informally. It can be run as a partnership or
structured similarly to a corporation. An LLC is established to
holding business interests.
Why/when would I need to establish a domestic corporation?
The main reason for establishing a corporation is to have tax implications
in addition to the protection it provides to the shareholders.
What is the difference between a Sub-S election and a C-Corp?
A Sub-S election is typically established for businesses with 75
employees or less. This type of corporation provides “pass-through”
taxation so that employees/shareholders/operators will be taxed
at their level and dividends are taxed at a different level.
A C-Corp should be developed for large companies. In this type
of corporation, the shareholder is taxed more than in a Sub-S election.
In this larger type of corporation, there are more shares issued;
therefore, the tax burden becomes more diversified.
When would a partnership need to be formed?
Partnerships are formed when a business would like to be structured
informally. All owners are equally liable for debts and assets.
There can be two types of partnerships formed: a limited partnership
and a general partnership. Owners can limit their liabilities through
a limited partnership. In a general partnership, partners have to
bear all liability. There are not usually tax implications involved
when forming a partnership.