How to Use Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts For a married couple who fully utilizes their estate tax exemptions with "Bypass" Trusts, the Federal estate tax effectively "cuts in" on assets in excess of $4,000,000. For single individuals, this "estate tax threshold" is $2,000,000. For estates in… Read More . . .
"When you have a child with special needs, you have to educate yourself on a host of topics other parents never encounter. It's unfair - but they don't get to hang out with your awesome kid, so it all evens out. At any rate, you need to learn about your rights, what you can and can't get for your… Read More . . .
A multitude of seniors, having paid off their mortgages many years ago, currently own their homes free and clear of any debt. Some are fortunate, and they have a nest egg that, along with their income (Social Security / pension), allows them to maintain their home and provide for themselves without… Read More . . .
Many people are currently in the process of organizing their financial information in preparation for the completion of their yearly income tax returns. If you have kept your records in a scatteredand unorganized fashion all year,this can be a daunting task however, if you have kept yourfinancial… Read More . . .
Now that Congress has made some decisions on 2013 taxes, let's take some time to review what has changed for individuals and businesses. First, as everyone has noticed, the employee portion of the Social Security payroll tax has increased. The temporary lowering of the rate to 4.2% has not been… Read More . . .
Here are some interesting tidbits about the annual gift tax exclusion: 1. No gift taxes are imposed on the first $14,000 in gifts that you make to any person during 2013. This exclusion from federal gift taxes is known as the "annual gift tax exclusion." This exclusion is indexed for inflation so… Read More . . .
Congress rang in the New Year by enacting legislation to save us all from the "fiscal cliff" the country was precariously dangling from - the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012". The most important impact the legislation has on estate and gift taxes is that it makes the system that was in place… Read More . . .
1. Not knowing what you are really worth. Take the time to write down every asset you own. Include all life insurance (individual or group) at its death benefit amount and all reasonably anticipated inheritances. Surprised? If the total value is (or may become) more than $2 Million, you might want… Read More . . .
Executors frequently go to work with no "on the job training." They are often well intentioned volunteers, chosen on the basis of family relationship rather than knowledge and experience. However, ignorance of income and estate tax law can be costly to the beneficiaries and the executor. First… Read More . . .
We who are involved in Elder Law have to be vigilant about recognizing the symptoms of depression in our older clients. For one thing, it can affect the care we put in place. This concern becomes even more acute during the holiday season, when the symptoms of depression can become heightened. This… Read More . . .
Many of you have a Will (or Trust) that protects your assets in the event of death. A Will ensures that physical assets make their way to your spouse, siblings, children or other loved ones. But what about your "electronic assets" such as online bank accounts, website domain names, Gmail, Facebook,… Read More . . .
Understanding a family's dynamics in estate planning is very important. Frequently, I have clients that come to me requesting a "simple will". For example, a couple in their mid 60s comes to my office for estate planning. They have three kids all over the age of 30. They own a primary residence, a… Read More . . .
Not only does going into a nursing home mean losing one's independence, but it also means that the cost of living in a nursing home can be a huge financial drain on your estate and your family. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for elder adults to pay for nursing home care until after their savings… Read More . . .
Mixed families, when at least one child comes into a marriage from a different parent, are not uncommon but require special treatment in estate planning. Some unfortunate outcomes have occurred when property gets passed down to everybody but the step-child due to unforeseen circumstances. Wills are… Read More . . .
I think of myself as a very optimistic person, so I wasn't too surprised with the 2012 survey conducted by The National Council on Aging, United Health Care and USA Today, stated overall baby boomers are optimistic about their health and the future. However, when I started delving into the article… Read More . . .
In the midst of a medical crisis, the last thing you want to worry about is health care coverage. There are many myths surrounding Medicaid planning. Despite the recent changes in the Medicaid Laws, there are still many opportunities to do Medicaid planning and protect your assets. In fact,… Read More . . .
Especially in these turbulent economic times, families are worried about how they can preserve financial legacies for generations to come. In order to transcend the "shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves within 3 generations" phenomenon where the first generation earns the wealth, the second generation… Read More . . .
As the saying goes, "nothing is certain but death and taxes." In the context of estate planning, this reality drives the estate planner's desire to minimize taxes upon death as much as possible. In fact, the world of estate planning is consumed with the minimization of taxes in all of its forms.… Read More . . .
When it comes to protecting assets from nursing home costs, many believe that the solution is to place those assets in a trust. In some circumstances, establishing the type of trust required to obtain asset protection may carry great risk. Nonetheless, in the right circumstances, a smart choice… Read More . . .
Effective estate planning is essential if you want to preserve your wealth for your children. Beware of making these common estate planning mistakes if you want to avoid paying unnecessary extra estate taxes (death taxes) to the IRS and state taxing authorities thus reducing your children's… Read More . . .