By On Aug 17, 2019 Templates
Most people who seek to create a will have simple estates. The average person has a home, a spouse, some bank accounts, a vehicle, some investments, and some valuable personal property. There is nothing complex or confusing. In fact, a lot of that property is probably already set up to pass without a will (a home owned as tenants by the entirety or investment accounts owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship pass without a will just by the way they are owned). If you do not complete a will, the rest of your assets are distributed according to your states intestacy law (the law that governs what happens to property that is not protected by a will or other estate plan), so it makes sense to take a few minutes to fill out a form that clarifies your wishes. If you just want to be sure all of your property gets left to your spouse or your children or grandchildren (or if you have specific items you want to give to specific people, such as jewelry or meaningful mementos), a free last will and testament is an easy way to accomplish that. The smaller your estate, the easier the case becomes for using a will template. Free will templates allow you to choose an executor who will manage your estate, as well as a guardian if you have any minor children. Writing a will template allows you to cover every single important issue that needs to be addressed to provide complete peace of mind in most situations.
Over the last decade, limited liability companies (LLCs) have become one of the most preferred forms of business entities through which to hold title to investment real estate properties. LLCs did not come into existence in the United States until 1977 when the State of Wyoming enacted special legislation to accommodate the needs of oil companies. Prior to LLCs, real estate investors seeking limited liability protection were largely limited to using corporations to acquire title—a form of entity that has potential drawbacks. Florida followed Wyomings lead a few years later by enacting its own LLC statute in 1982 and now all 50 states have enacted legislation creating some form of the LLC business structure. The insulation from personal risk exposure for real estate investors provided by LLCs, coupled with the relative ease of administration and potential tax benefits, make ownership of investment property through an LLC a very desirable option in most instances.
Pass-Through Taxation for Single and Multimember LLCs Another advantage of an LLC is the owners ability to enjoy the benefits of pass-through taxation. In 1988, the IRS released Revenue Ruling 88-76 which declared that Wyoming LLCs would be taxed as partnerships even though they provide for corporate-like protection against liability. C corporations, in contrast, are subject to double taxation—once at the corporate level and again when dividends are distributed to shareholders. While the owners of corporations can achieve pass-through taxation by making an S election, S corporations are subject to many other restrictions and requirements that limit their utility in the real estate investment realm. The 1988 revenue ruling was a true game-changer because it enabled real estate investors to avoid double taxation by acquiring property through an LLC while enjoying a liability shield. Under the default tax classification rules, the IRS classifies a real estate holding company with one owner as they would a sole proprietorship, namely as a disregarded entity. As a result, income and capital gains from the LLC pass through directly to the owner, who would only have to pay taxes as an individual, while still enjoying the protections offered by the LLC liability shield. Since there is no separate LLC tax, the owner can avoid double taxation on both the rental income generated by the property and the appreciation in value of the property upon disposition. Moreover, the owner of a single-member LLC can deduct mortgage interest similar to a sole proprietor based on current IRS rules. Real estate holding companies that have several owners are known as multimember LLCs and are generally taxed by the IRS like partnerships, meaning that the LLC files an informational tax return, but does not actually pay taxes itself. Multimember LLCs also enjoy the benefits of pass-through taxation as the LLC passes its profits and losses through to its members, who report their portion of the LLCs business income or losses on either a Schedule C, K or Form 1065 with their individual income tax returns. This means that both single member and multimember LLCs offer the benefits of pass-through taxation of profits and losses and limited liability and personal protection for the owners.
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