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Tomorrow is for Everyone, Except...

by Dave Hanley

The Tomorrow app is designed to work well for the majority of people. That said, there are a number of special scenarios where you would likely be better off working directly with an attorney. If any of the following apply to you, please speak with an attorney to make sure your estate planning is sound for your situation:

You have a special needs child receiving benefits

One or more of your beneficiaries may have special needs that qualify them to receive governmental benefits, and those could be affected by a trust fund if not property dealt with. It's important to consult with a qualified attorney when setting up a trust for or making a gift to someone receiving certain governmental benefits. Unless structured correctly under state law, the gift or trust could disqualify them from receiving their benefits.

You're concerned that your spouse may disinherit one of your kids

Blended families are special! But also sometimes complicated. You may have children from a prior relationship and are concerned that if your significant other survives you that he or she might disinherit one of those children. Tomorrow's estate planning documents provide for direct payment to your significant other of any bequest you make to them. In other words, any amount passing to your significant other will not be kept in your trust for future beneficiaries after your significant other passes away. If you are concerned with how a direct payment to your significant other might impact your children after your significant other passes away, please consult with a qualified estate planning attorney. An attorney can tailor your estate planning documents to make sure that all of your loved ones are protected after you pass away.

Your spouse may spend money you intend for your children

If you are worried about your spouse spending money you want going to your kids, Tomorrow may not be for you. Tomorrow's estate planning documents are designed to allow your spouse to decide whether or not their bequest will stay in a trust or be paid out directly to them. We don't currently offer an automatic “marital trust” option. Amounts paid directly to your spouse may become subject to creditor claims and will not be managed by a trustee. Amounts paid to a correctly structured trust could be protected from creditors and be managed by a trustee you choose. If you want to set up a trust for your spouse, please consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.

You have a pre-nup or post-nup agreement in place

Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements (aka marital agreements) may require you to include certain terms in your estate planning documents. If you and your significant other have entered into a marital agreement, please consult with a qualified estate planning attorney to make sure that your estate planning documents are consistent with the agreement.

You have over $5.5M and your spouse is not a US citizen

A bequest to your spouse could result in estate tax if your estate is worth more than $5.5M. If you think you might hit the jackpot before you pass away, a qualified estate planning attorney can add a special type of trust called a “QDOT” to your estate plan to make sure that your spouse's interest is protected from estate tax.

You're required to leave money or property to a former spouse in your will or trust

Divorce and separation agreements sometimes include terms that require the ex-spouses to provide for each other in their estate plans. An estate plan that doesn't include the bequest required in the divorce or separation agreement may still be valid - but the gifts made in your will can be reduced to provide the payment required under the other agreement. The effect of this may not be what you intended. Please consult with a qualified estate planning attorney to make sure that your estate planning documents are consistent with your divorce or separation agreement

You own stock or interests in a small (or closely-held) business

It is common for entity bylaws, operating agreements, shareholders agreements and buy-sell agreements to include provisions that affect how an owner or partner can transfer their interests at death. If your business agreements include this type of provision, it's important to have a qualified attorney review your estate plan in light of any relevant restrictions. Please review your business agreements and consult with a qualified estate planning attorney if you think this might apply to you.

You own a farm

Family-owned farms are subject to a host of special considerations: Does the property qualify for special tax credits? Who will run the farm after you pass away? If the responsibility will be shared, what type of document will govern the terms of that partnership? The Tomorrow estate planning documents can do a lot, but we can't tailor them to address these specific concerns. For legal advice that can help you ensure that your family farm is fully preserved for future generations, please consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.

You own forest land

Forests are subject to a host of special considerations: Does the property qualify for special tax credits? How can you ensure proper management of resources and conservation for future generations? The Tomorrow estate planning documents can do a lot, but we can't tailor them to address these specific concerns. For legal advice that can help you ensure that your family forest land is fully preserved for future generations, please consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.

You have millions of dollars

When you have millions of dollars, those funds can be taxed with an estate or inheritance tax. That number depends on where you live. You can view more details here, and you can view the amount for your state below:

States With Estate Tax, the per person exclusion amount, and the top tax rate:

  • Connecticut - $2,000,000 and 12%
  • Delaware - $5,490,000 and 16%
  • District of Columbia - $1,000,000 and 16%
  • Hawaii - $5,490,000 and 16%
  • Illinois - $4,000,000 and 16%
  • Maine - $5,490,000 and 12%
  • Maryland - $3,000,000 and 16%
  • Massachusetts - $1,000,000 and 16%
  • Minnesota - $1,800,000 and 16%
  • New Jersey - $2,000,000 and 16%
  • New York - $5,250,000 and 16%
  • Oregon - $1,000,000 and 16%
  • Rhode Island - $1,500,000 and 16%
  • Vermont - $2,750,000 and 16%
  • Washington - $2,129,000 and 20%

States with Inheritance Tax, and top tax rate:

  • Iowa - 15%
  • Kentucky - 16%
  • Maryland - 10%
  • Nebraska - 18%
  • New Jersey - 16%
  • Pennsylvania - 15%