There are many factors which enter into your decision of where to live or retire. You may want to move to be closer to your grandchildren. You may want to be in the climate you prefer. One of the factors to include in your decision is taxation. As long as you live in the United States, you will be subject to federal income taxation. In fact, even if you live overseas, if you are a U.S. Citizen or green cardholder, you’ll be subject to federal taxes. But that doesn’t mean you cannot lower your … [Read more...] about Best Places to Retire: State Taxation
People are living longer and are having children later in life. Due to this combination of demographic factors, many more people are in the “Sandwich Generation.” Someone in the Sandwich Generation has elderly parents while they still have minor children. All too often, they are torn between their caregiving responsibilities for their children and for their parents. Here is an article regarding the Sandwich Generation which may be of interest. If you’re part of the Sandwich Generation, how do … [Read more...] about Planning for the Sandwich Generation
Joint tenancy is a form of legal ownership where the property passes automatically at the death of one of the owners to the remaining joint tenants. Typically, there are two joint tenants, though there could be three or more joint tenants. While this form of ownership may be convenient, especially for couples, it can be disastrous when it is used with others. Let’s look at a quick example. Betty and Bob were married and had two children, Jack and Mary. Betty and Bob had a home and farm in … [Read more...] about Joint Tenancy Pros and Cons
It’s important to consider whom you’d want to get your assets when you die. Most of us have an idea of whom we’d choose. But, it’s also important to consider who should get those assets if your preferred recipient isn’t around. Life is full of odd twists and turns. Unfortunately, sometimes people don’t die in the order you’d expect. (The deaths of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in a helicopter accident demonstrated this.) Let’s look at an example of the importance of naming contingent … [Read more...] about Whom Do You Want to Get Your Assets?
Beneficiary designations and other non-probate transfers are an often-overlooked part of estate planning. They are overlooked by clients and sometimes even by professionals. When planning what would happen to your assets at death, most of us think, “oh, that’s simple, I need to do a Will to take care of that!” But, that’s just part of the process. You almost certainly have assets that are controlled by beneficiary designations or other non-probate transfers. Let’s look at an example. Mary … [Read more...] about Beneficiary Designations and Other Non-Probate Transfers
The Heckerling conference in Estate Planning is the country’s largest professional gathering in Estate Planning. The conference examines many areas of interest to Estate Planning and Elder Law professionals. It pays particular attention to items of current interest. As the SECURE Act passed in late-December 2019, it was discussed in many sessions. The SECURE Act accelerates Required Minimum Distributions for most beneficiaries of retirement plan and IRA assets. Under the Act, most … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Conference Discusses SECURE Act and More
The “Secure Act” was part of a larger law that passed with (rare) bipartisan support in late-December 2019. It is effective January 1, 2020, for most purposes. This is a series of articles on the Secure Act. The first article looked at the basics of the Secure Act. This second article examines planning strategies for dealing with the Secure Act. As laid out in the first article in the series, the Secure Act requires more rapid distributions of retirement benefits to most beneficiaries, a … [Read more...] about Planning for the Secure Act
The “Secure Act” was part of a larger law that passed with (rare) bipartisan support in late-December 2019. It is effective January 1, 2020, for most purposes. This is a series of articles on the Secure Act. This first article looks at the basics of the Secure Act. What does it do? The Secure Act does many things, but here are a few of the biggest changes. First the good news: It changes the age at which you must start withdrawing from your IRA or retirement plan. It was age 70 ½ … [Read more...] about The Secure Act and What It Means for You
As 2019 draws to a close and a new decade dawns, we need to think of…tax planning! Some years Congress tweaks the laws more than other years. This was a relatively quiet year for changes. Still, even in a quiet year, some things change due to inflation increases, etc. Estate Tax Planning Applicable Exclusion rises from $11.4 million in 2019 to $11.58 million in 2020. GST Exemption rises from $11.4 million in 2019 to $11.58 million in 2020. Annual Exclusion for present interest gifts … [Read more...] about Tax Planning for 2020
The holidays are a special time for friends and family. We gather around the tree recalling past joyful times and we remember loved ones who are no longer with us. While we are gathered is a great time to pull loved ones aside and speak with them about your estate planning. If you’ve chosen a loved one to be your agent under powers of attorney or as successor trustee, make sure to let them know so it’s not a surprise if they are called upon to serve. Similarly, if you want someone to serve as … [Read more...] about Getting Together with Family for the Holidays
More and more Americans are dying at home rather than in hospitals. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, in 2017 29.8% of deaths by natural causes occurred in hospitals while 30.7% occurred at home. The percentage of people dying in hospitals has been declining for several decades. While in 1912 two-thirds of people died at home, this evened out in the 1950s. By the 1970s, at least two-thirds of people died in hospitals. Since the 1970s, the trend has reversed. Now, more people are … [Read more...] about How Will You Age in Place and Be Able to Die at Home?
Estate Planning is essential for many reasons, which are set forth in prior articles. Links to these articles are set forth at the end of this article. This series focuses on how an Estate Plan could be challenged. This series shows the importance of doing Estate Planning in the right way. The first article in this series focused on formalities. The second article in the series examined undue influence. The third article in the series looked at fraud. This article will focus on testamentary … [Read more...] about Reasons an Estate Plan Could Be Challenged: Part 4 – Lack of Testamentary Capacity