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Sunday, July 12, 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...

 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

While there are many factors to consider when choosing the place where you will retire, the ones that will impact your wallet may be the most important. Why? Because having a low crime rate and beautiful weather will be irrelevant if...

 

Tuesday, June 30, 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...

 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It’s that time of year – the time for beautiful weddings, fun receptions, delicious cakes, special gifts, and romantic honeymoons. While this is a joyous time for everyone, it’s also time for you and your new spouse to plan for your...

 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Death taxes are back in the news at the federal level as well as in Delaware and Minnesota. What Happened to the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015?Back in February and March of 2015, identical bills calling for repeal of the federal estate...

 

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Friday, June 19, 2015

You may be surprised to learn that not only has asset protection planning been around for a long time, but you have already engaged in it at some point during your life. In fact, you probably have one or more types of traditional asset...

 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Some view asset protection planning with a skeptical eye. They believe there is a moral obligation to pay one’s debts. They think that asset protection planning is immoral because it prevents a creditor from collecting on a judgment...

 

Friday, June 5, 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...

 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Farming or ranching is more than a means of livelihood – it is about preserving a legacy and unique way of life. Unfortunately, many farmers and ranchers fail to make an estate plan. The farm or ranch that has been passed down for...

 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

What you don’t know about Social Security benefits can hurt you and your spouse for the rest of your lives. Here are three traps to avoid when taking your benefits. The Key TakeawaysThe longer you can postpone taking your Social...

 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

We live in a litigious society. Lawsuits abound, whether deserved or not. If you own property or stock that was purchased at a low price and has had high appreciation, it is at risk to litigation and creditors—even if you are not in a...

 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Estate planning attorneys are often asked where original estate planning documents – wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives – should be stored for safekeeping. While there is no right or wrong answer to this...

 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

One of the first things you should do as a newly appointed executor of a deceased person’s probate estate or successor trustee of a deceased trustmaker’s trust is ask the post office to forward the deceased person’s mail to your...

 

Friday, May 8, 2015

While it’s not unusual for an original last will and testament to be misplaced, it is when your daughter happens to be the Register of Wills for Baltimore City. What is a Register of Wills? In Maryland, the Register of Wills is an...

 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Most investors are familiar with the magic of compounding interest but they often fail to realize that when the portfolio loses money, the math of compounding works against them. That’s because when a dollar is lost, it is not just a...

 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

One common way to avoid probate of real estate after the owner dies is to hold the title to the property in joint names with rights of survivorship with children or other beneficiaries. This is accomplished by adding the names of the...

 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Revocable Living Trusts have become the basic building block of estate plans for people of all ages, personal backgrounds, and financial situations. But for some, a Revocable Living Trust may not be necessary to achieve their estate...

 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Whether you are a physician or not, you probably know that the practice of medicine is a profession fraught with liability. It’s not just medical malpractice claims either – employment related issues, careless business partners and...

 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Identical bills have been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate that would permanently repeal the federal estate tax and generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax. Overview of Current Federal Estate, Gift, and GST Tax Laws Under...

 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Is a Payable on Death Account Right for You and Your Family?Payable on death accounts, or “POD accounts” for short, have become popular for avoiding probate in the last decade or so.What is a POD Account?A POD account is a type of bank...

 

Thursday, April 2, 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.Which States Collect a State Death Tax?As of January 1, 2015, the following states collect a death tax:...

 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Is a Payable on Death Account Right for You and Your Family?Payable on death accounts, or “POD accounts” for short, have become popular for avoiding probate in the last decade or so.What is a POD Account?A POD account is a type of bank...

 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Does Your Estate Plan Protect Your Adult Beneficiaries?If you think you only need to create discretionary lifetime trusts for young beneficiaries, problem beneficiaries, or financially inexperienced beneficiaries, then think again. In...

 

Monday, March 2, 2015

How to Easily Integrate Asset Protection Trusts into Your Estate Plan 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...

 

Friday, February 27, 2015

How to Choose the Right Agent for Your Incapacity Plan 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...

 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A comprehensive financial plan that is effectively executed is designed to deliver dollar savings in improved investment returns, lower taxes, lower fees, more efficient wealth and more stable income. However, an important outcome of...

 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Five Changes Proposed in President Obama’s 2016 BudgetThat Could Affect Your Estate Plan The Obama administration recently released its budget proposal for the 2016 fiscal year. As in past years, this budget proposes changes to the...

 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

It’s Not Just About Death and Taxes: The Essential Legal Documents You Need for Incapacity Planning Comprehensive estate planning is about more than your legacy after death, avoiding probate, and saving on taxes. It must also be about...

 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Everyone faces hassles in life. We can’t escape them completely, but if we can minimize them, our quality of life improves. There are hassles in managing your finances and wealth, too. Here are five tips that will help you get...

 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and over 50% of the Fortune 400’s The Richest People in America list have decided to give away their wealth for charitable pursuits. Of course, not many of us have that kind of money or are inclined to give...

 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Americans are very generous when it comes to charitable giving. In addition, lower earners give more proportionately than higher earners. Perhaps this is because lower earners understand how easily a family can slip into financial...

 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

With the end of 2014 fast approaching, now is the time to take a look at your year-to-date retirement plan contributions to see where yours stand when compared with the 2014 contribution limits. Summary of 2014 Retirement Plan...

 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

With the end of the year fast approaching, now is the time to fine tune your estate plan before you get caught up in the chaos of the holiday season. One area of planning that many people overlook is their beneficiary designations....

 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Most of us will admit to having made some financial mistakes we regret—running up credit card debt, impulse buying, or making a bad investment or business decision. While there can be significant devastation, the key is to move beyond...

 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Everyone makes financial mistakes. The key is to learn from them, try not to repeat them and then pass on this hard-earned wisdom to your loved ones as an element of your financial legacy. The Key TakeawaysWe can learn not only from...

 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

So far in this series on wasting money, we have looked at how people may overpay for housing, interest, transportation, food, clothing and entertainment. In this last part, we will look at a few more areas in which we may pay more than...

 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

In Part One of this series on wasting money, we looked at housing, interest and transportation—areas in which you or your loved ones may be wasting larger amounts of money. In Part Two, we will look at how money can be wasted in...

 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Most of us are guilty of wasting money in one way or another. Often we are so busy that we pay too much for convenience, and we don’t comparison shop or look for bargains. Sometimes we waste money because we just stay in the same...

 

Monday, June 23, 2014

On June 12, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court—in a unanimous decision—ruled that Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) inherited by anyone other than a spouse are not retirement funds and therefore are not protected from the beneficiary’s...