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10 Problems That Could Cost Your Family a Fortune — and Their Solutions Through Proper Estate Planning

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Problem #1: Probate. Probate is the Court-supervised process of passing title and ownership of a deceased person’s property to his or her heirs. The process consists of assembling assets, giving notice to creditors, paying bills and taxes, and passing title to property when the judge signs the order. Probate can cost your loved ones a […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Q: The repeal of the estate tax and the loss of the step up basis.

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The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 provides an exclusion of the federal estate tax for estates valued at or less than the applicable exclusion value for the year of death. In 2009 that exclusion was $3.5 million. Therefore, if your estate was valued under $3.5 million, there would be no estate […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The Charitable Remainder Trust-Part 2

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In Part-1, I discussed the basics of setting up this type of Trust, and reviewed some of the important features of a CRT. Below are some answers to the most popular questions my clients ask about this type of Trust. “How does a Charitable Remainder Trust make a difference?” If they transfer title to the […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The Charitable Remainder Trust-Part 1

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In this column, I will describe the basics of the Charitable Remainder Trust. In part 2, I will follow up with answers to the most asked questions regarding the benefits and regulations of this type of Trust. If you own a highly appreciated asset (such as stocks, real estate or a business) — and if […] [Read More]
Categories: General

What is a Family Limited Partnership?

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What is a Family Limited Partnership? The Family Limited Partnership (FLP) is a limited partnership created to transfer ownership of assets to family members with a minimum of tax consequences.  The FLP is designed to lower the value of your investments and assets (for estate tax purposes) while still allowing you to maintain full control […] [Read More]
Categories: General

All I want for Christmas is my Trust Fund Money!!

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All I want for Christmas is my Trust Fund Money!! I wonder how many letters Santa gets with that request.  I would guess that most of those letters would be written by older children, and as humorous as it may sound, these requests are made more often than you think.  Not to Santa though, but […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The Durable Power of Attorney and its effect on your financial matters.

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The Durable Power of Attorney and its effect on your financial matters. A power of Attorney (POA) is a document that, when executed properly, creates a relationship similar to that of an agency, in which one person appoints another person to transact business or perform other financial matters on behalf of the other.  The person […] [Read More]
Categories: General

“Asset Protection”- Are they dirty words?

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Q: “Asset Protection”- Are they dirty words? A:  Rarely in the world of Trusts & Estates do you hear the words “Asset Protection” from long standing & established estate planners and attorneys. Why is that?  For many years asset protection had been touted as a means to avoid responsibility; to dodge lien holders, creditors and […] [Read More]
Categories: General