This is the first in a two-part series of articles on updating your plan. This first article examines the importance of updating Powers of Attorney, both Financial and Medical. The second part of the series looks at the importance of updating your primary estate planning documents, such as your Trust or Will. Together, these documents are the keystone in even the most basic estate plan and it’s important to keep them up-to-date. First, what’s a Power of Attorney? It’s a document by which you … [Read more...] about Updating Your Plan: Powers of Attorney
This is the second in a two-part series of articles on updating your plan. This first article examined the importance of updating the Powers of Attorney, both Financial and Medical. This second part of the series looks at the importance of updating your primary estate planning document, such as your trust or will. Together, these documents form the core of even the most basic estate plan and it’s important to keep them up-to-date. Every state has laws controlling what happens to your assets if … [Read more...] about Updating Your Plan: Your Trust or Will
This is a bonus part of a series of articles on updating your plan. The first article examined the importance of updating your Powers of Attorney, both Financial and Medical. The second part of the series looked at the importance of updating your primary estate planning document, such as your Trust or Will. Together, these documents are the keystone in even the most basic estate plan and it’s important to keep them up-to-date. However, it’s also important to make sure beneficiary designations … [Read more...] about Updating Your Plan: Beneficiary Designations
The acronym HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. In this post, we will explain why this piece of legislation is something to take into consideration when you are planning your estate. Advance Directives for Health Care Everyone is well aware of the fact that you have to facilitate postmortem asset transfers when you put your estate plan in place. A lot of people think this is the long and short of it, but a proper estate plan will also address … [Read more...] about What Is a HIPAA Release?
The spread of the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on financial markets around the world. While nobody would seek out such a decline, it could provide opportunities for some people. This is the second of a two-part series on strategies to consider under these circumstances. This first article looked at gifting and electing alternate valuation. This second article looks at the Grantor Retained Annuity Trust, or “GRAT,” and how that strategy might be used in these troubling times. Let’s look at a … [Read more...] about Shrunken Asset Values Open Estate Planning Opportunities
As Americans grow older, more and more of us need help with our daily activities. It could be a little help or a lot of help, depending on the situation. Of course, the level of assistance we need can change over time. According to a recent study by Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement, 68% of middle-income boomers are providing care for a parent and 17% are providing care for a spouse or partner. According to the survey, about two-thirds of those boomers prefer to be cared for in … [Read more...] about How Will You Obtain the Care You Need?
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the standard deduction to $12,000 per person and $24,000 per couple (for 2018 and inflation-adjusted thereafter). This was great news for those who don’t itemize their deductions. However, for those itemizing deductions, there was some bad news in the new law, too. The law included a cap of $10,000 (not inflation adjusted) for state and local taxes (“SALT”), such as state and local income and real property taxes. The $10,000 limitation is the same for single … [Read more...] about SALT Deduction Limit…Can You Get Around It?
Often, the smallest things have the most sentimental value. Your grandmother’s silverware or your grandfather’s railroad watch could connect you to them in a special way. Your mother’s ring or your father’s Boyscout bugle could hold a special place in your heart. Your sports memorabilia could connect you to one of your children in a unique way. You may want those items to go to particular beneficiaries who will cherish their sentimental value as you have. There’s an easy and flexible way to do … [Read more...] about The Little Things May be the Most Important
The ball has dropped in Times Square and we’ve bid farewell to 2018. But there are still a few things we can do to adjust our tax liability for 2018 before filing tax returns on April 15. First, you’ll need to organize all your tax records. That way, you’ll have some idea of what your tax liability might be. After you’ve organized your tax records, if you find you will owe money, there are a couple things you can do. You can contribute to your IRA for 2018. That’s right, even though it’s … [Read more...] about Tax Tips after New Year