Happy New Year 2013!

From the desk of San Diego estate attorney, Kristina R. Hess (Haymes)

Here we are on the eve of a new year.  I love this time of year.  I am particularly compelled by the newness of the new year.  I am drawn in by the endless possibilities, a time to begin again, start over, maybe even have a bit of a blank slate.  Leave behind anything painful or negative in the old year.

Truth be told, though, before we can fully leap into the new year with gusto, it is important to look back over 2012 and take an inventory.

I was running on my favorite Torrey Pines trail this morning, and a nice gentleman said to me, “Look at you!  Finishing 2012 strong!”  Indeed, let us finish 2012 strong!

My tendency is to brush the old away and move right into the new, shiny year with its endless possibilities.   Optimist that I am, I don’t ever doubt that the new year is going to be better than the last one!

As we look back over 2012, it is important to recognize all that you accomplished.  Perhaps you are like me and the tendency is to focus on all that is still yet to be done!  Perhaps your portfolio is not yet where you want it to be, your health, your wealth, your business, your relationships, there are probably areas of your lives that are still very much in process of becoming.  Perhaps you are still in the process of becoming who you want to be.  We are all works in progress after all.

But when we take the time to look back over the year, you may be amazed at how much progress you made!  This was a very encouraging and useful exercise for me.  As I looked back over the year in business, in my personal life,  in many areas I could find a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

It is with this awareness and gratitude that we can complete 2012 and finish strong.  Then, we can turn the page on the endless possibilities of the new year. Take the time to dream new dreams, write new plans, and continue to press on toward living a life by design.

Perhaps in 2012 you want to be more passionate and committed to:

1.  Building Wealth

2.  Grooming the Next Generation for Success

3.  Being healthy in mind, body and spirit

4.  Have satisfying loving relationships

5.  Making a contribution to the world

These are broad categories.  You will want to fill in the details that pertain to you.  But you get the idea.

As we close 2012, there were many who took advantage of the unique opportunity to make a lifetime gift while the credit was $5.12 million.  Many others began taking better advantage of the $13,000 tax free annual exclusion.

Yes, as of right now we are set to go to an estate tax credit of $1 million tomorrow!

A great strategy is to fund irrevocable trusts for children and grandchildren.  You give them the gift of asset protection and it provides a mechanism to manage and control the assets until they are distributed to the beneficiaries.

Finish 2012 strong and many blessings for health, wealth, and happiness in 2013.

Create Legacies that Last!

San Diego trust attorney,

Kristina R. Hess