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Listen Up: These States Will Usher in Changes to Their Death Taxes in 2016

Posted on: December 15th, 2015
In 2015, there are still 20 U.S. jurisdictions that collect a death tax at the state level....

Listen Up Retirees: There Will Be No Cost of Living Increase For Social Security Benefits in 2016

Posted on: December 1st, 2015
65 million retirees, disabled workers and their families who rely on Social Security benefits for their day-to-day living expenses: For the third time in seven years, Social Security recipients will not see a cost of living increase to their monthly checks....

Financial Smarts Peak at 50, Here’s How to Protect Your Older Self

Posted on: November 15th, 2015
A recent study conducted by Texas Tech University concluded that the ability to make smart financial decisions peaks at age 50. This decline was observed in both men and women, making both sexes equally vulnerable to financial fraud as they age....

Don’t Miss Out on These Year-End Tax Planning Strategies

Posted on: November 1st, 2015
Now is the ideal time to start year-end tax planning. Below you will find a variety of tax-saving strategies you should consider using immediately so that you can get your 2015 tax house in order well in advance of the fast-approaching holiday season....

Early Predictions About 2016 Estate Tax, Gift Tax, GST Tax and Annual Gift Tax Limits

Posted on: October 15th, 2015
Under current law the federal estate tax, gift tax, and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions have become unified and are indexed for inflation on an annual basis....

Surprise! You Can’t Easily Disinherit Your Spouse in the U.S.

Posted on: October 1st, 2015
Believe it or not, in the U.S. it isn’t easy to disinherit your spouse. But the same is not true for other family members....

The Lifetime QTIP Trust: Or (How to Maintain Control of Your Estate and Keep Spouse No. 2 Happy)

Posted on: September 15th, 2015
In the estate planning world a 'QTIP Trust' is a type of trust that allows a wealthier spouse to transfer an unrestricted amount of assets into trust for the benefit of their less wealthy spouse free from estate and gift taxes....

Decanting: How to Fix a Trust That Isn’t Getting Better With Age

Posted on: September 1st, 2015
While many wines get better with age, the same cannot be said for some irrevocable trusts. Maybe you're the beneficiary of a trust created by your great grandfather seventy years ago that no longer makes sense. Or maybe you created an irrevocable trust twenty years ago that doesn't work as it should. Is there any way to fix an irrevocable trust that has turned from a fine wine into vinegar? You may be surprised to learn that under certain circumstances the answer is yes, by 'decanting' the old broken trust into a brand new one....

What You Need to Know About the Final Estate Tax Portability Rules

Posted on: August 15th, 2015
Recently the IRS issued the final rules governing the 'portability election' as it relates to the federal estate tax exemption. Married couples need to understand how these final rules may affect their existing estate plans, while recent widows and widowers need to understand how these finals rules may affect their deceased spouse's estate....

5 Reasons Why Uncle Bill May Not Make a Good Trustee

Posted on: August 1st, 2015
If you have created a dynasty trust that you intend to last for decades into the future, choosing the right trustee is critical to the trust's longevity and ultimate success....

IRS Announcement: Estate Tax Closing Letters Will Now Only Be Issued Upon Request

Posted on: July 15th, 2015
Due to the increased volume of federal estate tax return filings in order to make the 'portability election,' the IRS has announced that estate tax closing letters will only be issued upon request by the taxpayer. This change in IRS policy started on June 1, 2015....

Dispelling the Top 3 Estate Planning Myths

Posted on: July 1st, 2015
Like any other complex subject, estate planning has its share of myths and misconceptions. Understanding the top three estate planning myths will help you to create and maintain a plan that will work the way you expect it to work when it's needed....

What Documents Do You Need to Find After a Loved One Dies?

Posted on: June 15th, 2015
After a loved one dies, you need to gather the important documents that are necessary to settle their final affairs. While the documents required will vary depending on what your loved one owned and owed, below is a list of common documents you will need to find:...

Caution: Writing Your Own Deed to Avoid Probate Can Lead to Unintended Consequences

Posted on: June 1st, 2015
If you want your home or other real estate to pass to your children or other beneficiaries without probate, then seek the advice of an attorney who is familiar with the probate and real estate laws of the state where your property is located. ...

Three Liability Planning Tips for Physicians that Anyone Can Use

Posted on: May 15th, 2015
Business entities include partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations. Business owners need to mitigate the risks and liabilities associated with owning a business, and real estate investors need to mitigate the risks and liabilities associated with owning real estate, through the use of one or more entities. The right structure for your enterprise should take into consideration asset protection, income taxes, estate planning, retirement funding, and business succession goals....

When is an Estate Subject to State Death Taxes?

Posted on: May 1st, 2015
In the United States, certain states collect a death tax based on the value of the deceased person's estate and who inherits it....

How to Easily Integrate Asset Protection Trusts into Your Estate Plan

Posted on: April 15th, 2015
Asset protection has become a common goal of estate planning. Asset protection trusts come in many different forms and can be used to protect property for your use and benefit as well as for the use and benefit of your family....

Five Changes Proposed in President Obama’s 2016 Budget That Could Affect Your Estate Plan

Posted on: April 1st, 2015
The Obama administration recently released its budget proposal for the 2016 fiscal year. As in past years, this budget proposes changes to the laws governing federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes. Several of these changes would raise revenue by limiting the tax benefits achieved by using certain estate planning techniques, while others would decrease exemptions and increase rates. In addition, the fifth proposal discussed below is a brand new one that has raised some eyebrows:...

It’s Not Just About Death and Taxes: The Essential Legal Documents You Need for Incapacity

Posted on: March 15th, 2015
Comprehensive estate planning is about more than your legacy after death, avoiding probate, and saving on taxes. It must also be about having a plan in place to manage your affairs if you become mentally incapacitated during your life....

How to Choose the Right Agent for Your Incapacity Plan

Posted on: March 1st, 2015
A common misconception is that estate planning equates to death planning. But planning for what happens after you die is only one piece of the estate planning puzzle. It is just as important to make a plan for what happens if you become mentally incapacitated....
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