Tag: Estate Planning

A Corporate Trustee Could Be a Smart Choice

Aug 12, 2020

Trust Keyboard
Trust administration is more difficult than many families presume.

In an ideal world, managing a family trust would be simple. There would be no stress, no big learning curve, and no great time commitment involved. Unfortunately, the world is not ideal, and heirs who become trustees are often left with headaches. A corporate trustee may be a good option. (more…)

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Explaining the Basis of Inherited Real Estate

Jun 22, 2020

Giving house away
What is cost basis? Stepped-up basis? How does the home sale tax exclusion work?

At some point in our lives, we may inherit a home or another form of real property. In such instances, we need to understand some of the jargon involving inherited real estate. What does “cost basis” mean? What is a “step-up?” What is the home sale tax exclusion, and  what kind of tax break does it offer? (more…)

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SECURE ACT Lesser Known Provisions

Feb 20, 2020

SECURE stack of binders and papers
What Younger Investors need to know

The SECURE Act passed into law in late 2019 and changed several aspects of retirement investing. These modifications included modifying the ability to stretch an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and changing the age when IRA holders must start taking requirement minimum distributions to 72-years-old.1,2 (more…)

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Ways to Fund Special Needs Trusts

Jan 27, 2020

Trust Wooden Blocks on Table
A Look at the Different Options & Strategies.

If you have a child with special needs, special needs trusts may be a financial priority. There are many crucial goods and services that Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income might not pay for. It may be used to address those financial challenges. Most importantly, a special needs trust may help provide for your disabled child in case you’re no longer able to care for them.

In planning for one, one of the most pressing questions is: when it comes to funding the trust, what are the options?

(more…)

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Why You Might Want to Create a Donor-Advised Fund

Oct 11, 2019

Hands holding a heart
A DAF can be a great way to give, with potentially great tax breaks.

Do you regularly donate to charities and other non-profit organizations? Then you may want to open a donor-advised fund.

Donor-advised funds are becoming popular. It is easy to see why. They offer potential tax perks, and in some instances, a chance to grow money set aside for charitable gifting. (more…)

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The Importance of TOD & JTWROS Designations

Sep 30, 2019

female teen hand with chalk on blackboard
A convenient move that could ward off probate on your accounts.

TOD, JTWROS – what do these obscure acronyms signify? They are shorthand for transfer on death and joint tenancy with right of survivorship – two designations that permit automatic transfer of bank or investment accounts from a deceased spouse to a surviving spouse.

This automatic transfer of assets reflects a legal tenet called the right of survivorship –the idea that the surviving partner should be the default beneficiary of the account. In some states, a TOD or JTWROS beneficiary designation is even allowed for real property. (more…)

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Put it in a Letter

Aug 14, 2019

Express your personal wishes

Actor Lee Marvin once said, “As soon as people see my face on a movie screen, they [know] two things: first, I’m not going to get the girl, and second, I’ll get a cheap funeral before the picture is over.”

Most people don’t spend too much time thinking about their own funeral, and yet, many of us have a vision about our memorial service or the handling of our remains. A letter of instruction can help you accomplish that goal.

A letter of instruction is not a legal document; it’s a letter written by you that provides additional, more personal information regarding your estate. It can be addressed to whomever you choose, but typically, letters of instruction are directed to the executor, family members, or beneficiaries. (more…)

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Will You Avoid These Estate Planning Mistakes?

Jul 17, 2019

Confused Child
Too many wealthy households commit these common blunders.

Many people plan their estates diligently, with input from legal, tax, and financial professionals. Others plan earnestly but make mistakes that can potentially affect both the transfer and destiny of family wealth. Here are some common and not-so-common errors to avoid. (more…)

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A Lesson from Uganda

Feb 12, 2016

Surrounded by Children in Uganda
Pure Joy and Happiness

Exactly one month ago today, I returned from a 12-day trip to Uganda. While there, myself and a group of 15 others did water projects such as building a rainwater harvest tank and making and distributing bio-sand filters. The organization that hosted the trip was a non-profit based out of Boone, NC called Wine to Water. Their founder, Doc Hendley, received a CNN Hero award back in 2009 for the incredible work that he himself had done both in Darfur and Uganda. Doc has inspired thousands, myself included. The work they do at Wine to Water changes lives. In fact, it changes entire communities. They do real boots on the ground stuff, bringing clean water to those in need. They make an impact with what they do. And I’ve seen it first hand. (more…)

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The Zuckerberg Impact

Dec 3, 2015

facebook_like_logo_1If #GivingTuesday wasn’t great enough on it’s own, Facebook ‘s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stole the show with an absolutely extraordinary pledge to give away 99% of his Facebook fortune over his and his wife Priscilla Chan’s lifetime. That amount, as it stands today would total over 45 billion dollars. This will be done through their ongoing platform entitled the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Basically, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative allocates money to organizations around the country — and eventually, the world — in order to make it a better place for everyone. (more…)

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More Insights

Dec 1, 2021

Getting rich quick can be liberating, but it can also be frustrating. A sudden wealth windfall can help you address retirement saving or college funding anxieties, and it may also allow you to live and work on your terms. On the other hand, you’ll pay more taxes, attract more attention, and maybe even contend with … Continue reading “When a Windfall Comes Your Way”

Nov 29, 2021

  You may have seen this statistic before or one resembling it: the average 65-year-old retiring couple can now expect to pay more than $250,000 in healthcare costs during the rest of their lives. In fact, Fidelity Investments now projects this cost at $285,000. The effort to prepare for these potential expenses is changing the … Continue reading “Healthcare Costs are Cutting into Retirement Preparations”

Nov 24, 2021

Preparing for retirement just got a little more financial wiggle room. This week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced new contribution limits for 2022.

Nov 22, 2021

Financial markets can be challenging to understand. But when markets enter a “bad news is good news” cycle, it becomes even more difficult to follow along. Enter the Fed’s decision for tapering bond purchases.

Nov 19, 2021

The past year and a half have tested all of us, but overall, the economy continues to strengthen, COVID-19 trends are greatly improving, and this still relatively young bull market is alive and well. As the leaves turn colors and begin to fall to the ground, there are many reasons to be thankful.

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