Want to Give the Kids an Early Inheritance? 4 Things to Consider

If you’re thinking about giving your children their inheritance early, you’re not alone. A recent Merrill Lynch study suggests1 that these days, nearly two-thirds of people over the age of 50 would rather pass their assets to the children early than make them wait until the will is read. It can be especially satisfying to fund our children’s dreams while we’re alive to enjoy them, and there’s no … [Read more...]

Stress Test Your Estate Plan

So you’ve done the hard work of establishing an estate plan. Good on you, as they say across the Pond. However, you still have serious work to do to ensure that the strategy you’ve selected will maximize your peace of mind and protect your legacy. Estate plans are living, breathing creations. Your life can and will change due to new births, children getting older and other shifts in the family; … [Read more...]

Aging.gov: A New Resource for Older Americans and Their Families

More than 10,000 people turn 65 in the U.S. every day according to Aging.gov (http://www.hhs.gov/aging/), a new website recently launched by the Obama administration. The goal of this website is to act as gateway for older Americans and their families, friends and caregivers to locate information about leading a healthy lifestyle, options for health care, preventing elder abuse, and retirement … [Read more...]

3 Mega-Celebrities Who Died Without A Will: Do Not Follow In Their Footsteps!

A will documents who gets what (and when) after you die. Without a will, state law doles out your belongings. In many cases, your assets may end up in the hands of complete strangers. That’s exactly what happened to these three mega-celebrities: 1. James Dean Dean died intestate (without a will) in 1955 at the age of 24. State law awarded most of his meager estate (he had only made three movies) … [Read more...]

Are Handwritten Intentions Enforceable? Princess Diana

Princess Diana of Wales was one of the world’s most loved celebrities – and one of the richest.  Her tragic death in 1997 was world news. The majority of her estate, reportedly worth $40 million at the time of her death, was divided between Prince William and Prince Harry in her estate plan. However, she also wrote a “letter of wishes” that directed her executors to give a number of personal … [Read more...]

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

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. Plan Now for a Bountiful Fall Harvest The last thing you want to worry about during the holiday season is tax planning.  Now is the perfect … [Read more...]

5 Most Expensive States for Retirees in 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 high costs deplete your retirement nest egg faster than anticipated.   Recently Investopedia.com compared cost-of-living and tax-rate data from … [Read more...]

When is an Estate Subject to State Death Taxes?

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: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Modernize Your Estate Planning Using Flexible Trusts

Your estate plan undoubtedly includes trusts that will continue for the benefit of your spouse’s lifetime and then for the benefit of several generations of your family. Implementing and maintaining trusts that will cover the administration, investment, and distribution of trust property over the span of multiple decades is challenging and generally requires you to have flexibility in your trust … [Read more...]

The Wrong Successor Trustee Can Derail Your Final Wishes

Today many estate plans contain irrevocable trusts that will continue for the benefit of a surviving spouse’s lifetime and then for the benefit of several generations. Since these trusts are designed to span multiple decades, it is crucial to choose the right succession of trustees. Should You Name Family Members as Your Successor Trustees? Choosing the right succession of trustees for your … [Read more...]

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