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Congratulations 2023 grads! You made it to one finish line, however one of the responsibilities of being an adult is making sure you have documents in place so that your family or your friends will be able to assist you in the event of an emergency.

Everyone over 18, even people who "don't think they have anything" should have a WILL. Most people think you only need a Will if you have real property or children, but a Will passes any property that does not have a payable on death beneficiary, like a car or a bank account. Wills require a formal probate to be effective, but it is better to have a will and not need it than to need one and not have one. The best practice at this stage is to make sure all your assets have a payable on death beneficiary AND a Will.

Everyone over 18 should have a DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY. Most people don't think they will ever suffer from any kind of illness requiring assistance, but what if you're in a car accident and need someone to pay your credit card bills or your rent for you from your bank accounts? The only way someone can make financial transactions on your behalf is if they have a Durable Power of Attorney.

Everyone over 18 should have a MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY. The Medical Power of Attorney gives someone you designate the power to handle your medical decisions while you're incapacitated. This person is very important because they can make life or death decisions on your behalf.

Additionally, Universities may have other privacy related documents that they offer for students to allow a Student to release information to family members. You may need to talk to your University Student Services to see if that document is available.

There are other documents that you may need, such as transfer on death deeds, living trusts, caregiver agreements or guardianship elections, but the only way you'll know if you need these documents is if you talk to an attorney and find out what you need. If you or someone in your family is interested in getting any of the documents mentioned above, you can call us at CHIANG LAW FIRM, PLLC and set up a consultation today!

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RICHMOND, TEXAS, January 25, 2023 - Fort Bend County Judge KP George recognized Chiang Law Firm, PLLC as an outstanding East-Asian Owned Business in Fort Bend County. Among the individuals Stafford City Council Woman Alice Chen, State Representative Gene Wu, and Fort Bend Businesses such as Smiles at Riverstone, Jusgo Supermarket, Mala Sichuan Bistro, and A'lings Chinese Bistro were also recognized for their outstanding contributions to Fort Bend County at the Lunar New Year-Themed event. Also featured were several cultural performances, including a lion dance, tai-chi and Chinese dance performances.

Chiang Law Firm, PLLC, an estate planning, probate and business law firm was founded in 2014 by Jennifer C. Chiang. A native of Fort Bend County, Jennifer is a graduate of Clements High School, the University of St. Thomas (BBA/MBA) and the University of Houston Law Center (JD). In 2015 she was unanimously appointed by Sugar Land City Council to serve as Associate Judge for the Sugar Land Municipal Court, making her the first appointed Asian American Judge to serve in Fort Bend County.

Fort Bend County is considered one of the most diverse communities in the U.S. with 20.9% of the county population consisting of Asian residents, according to 2020 U.S. census data. Additionally, 21.3% of the population was African American, and 24.9% of the county identified as Hispanic or Latino. It is also one of the largest counties in Texas with a population of 858,527 as of 2021.

Please contact us more information about Jennifer Chiang or Chiang Law Firm, PLLC at 713-568-9206.

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Happy New Year! The new year brings many new beginnings: new resolutions, new diets, new commitments, and new annual gift tax and estate tax exclusions.

The US Internal Revenue Service announced that the annual gift tax exclusion is increasing next year due to inflation. The annual gift tax exclusion will be $17,000 per recipient for 2023—the highest amount ever. Further, the annual amount that one may give to a spouse who is not a US citizen will increase to $175,000 in 2023.

In addition, the estate and gift tax exemption will be $12.92 million per individual for 2023 gifts and deaths, up from $12.06 million in 2022. This increase means that a married couple can shield a total of $25.84 million without having to pay any federal estate or gift tax. For a couple who has already maxed out lifetime gifts, this means that they may now give away another $1.72 million in 2023.

It should be noted that although the IRS has announced that the lifetime estate and gift tax exemption will increase to $12.92 million in 2023, that amount is set to be cut in half at the start of 2026. Any planned giving that takes advantage of the higher annual exclusion amount MUST be complete before the end of 2025. Yet another reason to get your estate plan done in 2023!

If getting your estate plan done is on your list of resolutions for 2023, contact us at Chiang Law Firm PLLC today!

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