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Tag Archives: estate planning

The Estate Planning Excuses Game Show

Welcome to the show, where you, as part of the studio audience get to hear some of the most common reasons why people don’t plan for the distribution of assets after they’re gone. Listen closely, so you don’t make the same excuses. Okay, maybe that’s a little over-the-top, but not creating an estate plan, even a basic one, opens the door to all sorts of problems you probably would like to avoid. But people come up with all sorts of reasons why they can’t or won’t take the time to create an...

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Take Advantage of These COVID Estate Planning Opportunities by the End of 2020

May you live in interesting times. Although that sounds like an ancient blessing, it’s believed to be a Chinese curse casting instability and uncertainty on the person who hears it. Blessing or curse, it’s a great description of the year we’ve just come through, and in spite of all the turmoil, there are some things you can do before the end of 2020 to take advantage of all the madness. Strauss Attorneys PLLC has come up with a list of estate planning insights, cautions, and opportunities for...

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Tips for Being an Estate Executor

Over the years I’ve had clients who knew they’d been named in estate planning documents as executor of an estate, and I’ve had others who found out only after a relative died that they had to settle an estate. In most cases, I’d get a call asking, “What do I do?” Here are some things I’ve learned working with clients who have been thrust into the executor role.   Read the document Reading the document helps you understand the wishes of the deceased. It also tells you what you have to...

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17 States that Charge Estate or Inheritance Taxes

Death tax, inheritance tax, estate tax—call it what you will, they all mean that some government entity wants to put its hand in your pocket or your heirs’ pockets, after your demise. On the federal level, the estate tax issue is not as big a deal as it was back in the day. Today individuals can pass on more than $11 million and couples can pass on more than $23 million before Washington comes after your money. 17 states, on the other hand, have not moderated their position on estate and...

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5 Estate Planning Myths That Can Derail Your Estate Plan

You spend a lifetime earning, saving, acquiring. But the old adage is true—you can’t take it with you. So, what do you do with your assets when you’re gone? How do you want them distributed? That’s where a good estate plan comes in. However, some estate plans are based on ideas that just aren’t true. Plans are made based on emotion rather than logic, and that’s where the best-laid estate plans can go wrong. Christopher D. Wright, JD is a CPA at Marks Paneth LLP. In more than 30 years of...

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Pre-Election Estate Planning Moves for High Net Worth Families

What to do? What to do? The 2020 presidential election is just around the corner and questions are being asked about how to protect your wealth, no matter who’s elected. Each candidate has broadly divergent views about income taxes, capital gains taxes, estate taxes; how much you keep, and how much the government will come after. With that in mind, our friends at Kiplinger have put together a list of moves that high net worth families can consider now before the election hits the fan....

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A Major Estate Planning No-No

Oh, my! I cringe every time I hear that someone has added their kids’ names to the deed of their house as an estate planning technique. It’s done for the right reasons, but it often backfires. Sometimes, elderly people will add kids to the deed, thinking they’re removing the house from their assets in order to become Medicaid-eligible. Unfortunately, there are lots of rules regarding look-back periods and other issues that may pull the house back into the list of total assets even though mom...

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Good Bye Stretch IRA—Hello Charitable Remainder Trust

The government giveth, and the government taketh away. And so it is with the Stretch IRA. For years, the stretch IRA has been a financial planning strategy used to extend the tax-deferred status of an IRA by passing it on to a non-spouse beneficiary, such as children or grandchildren, who then enjoyed the tax benefits “stretched” over their lifetimes. With the enactment of the SECURE Act, the stretch IRA, if not dead, is severely wounded. There are no more lifetime stretches. The new law...

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