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Michael E. Lehr
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There are many questions about giving money to children during your lifetime, and most of them concern taxes. Giving your children, or other heirs, gifts while you are still alive can be a very fulfilling experience: you get to see what they do with their early inheritance. However, many people... Continue reading
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If you roll the money over to an IRA first, you can donate funds from your 401(k) Required Minimum Distribution tax free. Be very careful to follow the rules, so that you don’t create a tax or penalty problem. First, let’s define the RMD (Required Minimum Distributions). This is the... Continue reading
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It may sound whimsical, but the moment you open a business is also the time to start thinking about how you’ll exit the business, whether you intend to sell to a partner, leave the entire business to a family member or sell as soon as you come up with the... Continue reading
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It sounds like a nightmare scenario, and for many elderly, it is a reality: a court appoints a guardian and they lose the ability to make decisions about their assets and their lives, often with no advance warning. An article in Reuters reports on a journalist’s investigation that revealed a... Continue reading
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Americans in their fifties and sixties may want to think twice about putting off their “bucket list” trips and accomplishments. Recent statistics indicate you may be better off enjoying life now. As the government shifts retirement ages higher and employees are working later in life, the health of Americans is... Continue reading
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One of the first questions people ask when they sit down to do their estate planning, is almost always whether or not they need a trust. The answer depends on many different variables. Before you can decide if a trust is right for your estate plan, you need to understand... Continue reading
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Good for some people, not so good for others, the changes to reverse mortgages are already in effect. Insurance costs and a reduction in how much can be borrowed, are just two things that are now different. Here’s a new twist for those considering a reverse mortgage: according to a... Continue reading
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The probate process can be expensive and time-consuming. However, there are instances when strategies used to avoid probate create more problems. There are a number of efforts underway in several states to help people avoid probate, according a recent article in The PV Democrat, “Avoiding probate - panacea or problem.”... Continue reading
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A recent case of elder abuse in Michigan that resulted in only a misdemeanor, may have been the last straw for legislators. They introduced a law that would make it a felony, if a person was convicted of harming a vulnerable adult or senior citizen. The punishment for causing serious... Continue reading
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There’s more than retirement savings power in a Roth IRA. Used properly, it can help cut your beneficiary’s tax liability, regardless of if and when tax reform becomes reality. If you’re interested in reducing the taxes your heirs will have to pay, you’re probably concerned about the discussion about tax... Continue reading
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In 2018: Federal Estate Tax Exemption amount increased to $5.6 million; and Individuals may gift up to $15,000 per person without needing to file a gift tax return. Continue reading
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For living trusts, the person or people who set them up are usually named the initial trustees, but after that, there needs to be a successor trustee. Think carefully about who you would want to take on these responsibilities. When the first spouse dies, the surviving spouse usually becomes the... Continue reading
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When you know you don’t have a lot of time left, your focus shifts—and that is being seen right now as John McCain discards any concern about political capital and has directed his attention to fighting for what he believes in. John McCain, diagnosed with a brain tumor, is more... Continue reading
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While the names sound familiar, a Living Will is not the same as a Will, and a Lasting Power of Attorney is not the same as a Power of Attorney. You’ll want to know what these documents are, and what they can and cannot do for your estate plan. A... Continue reading
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A large percentage of Americans require assisted living care at some point during their senior years. Their understanding of how that gets paid for is way off base. It’s a hard lesson to learn. Approximately one-third of Americans (34%) thought that Medicare would cover their nursing home costs, as reported... Continue reading
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You’ll need an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss your family’s dynamics, so that the person you choose to be an executor is less likely to have a legal or emotional battle with other heirs. Successful challenges to wills don’t happen often, according to an article from The Northwest Indiana... Continue reading
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The intention of doing an estate plan on your own, is rarely to create a massive headache for family members. However, that is very often exactly what happens. Certain areas of the law are more complicated than others. The tax law is one of the more complex ones. That’s one... Continue reading
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There will likely be an appeal, but for now John Steinbeck’s stepdaughter has won a lawsuit claiming that obstacles created by the author’s son and daughter, made it impossible for her to develop Hollywood movies based on his novels. When Stephen Spielberg and Jennifer Lawrence want to make a movie... Continue reading
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With lower average income than their Boomer counterparts, it’s important that millennials begin saving regularly, if they are to be able to retire at what only feels like the far distant future. According to a research report from the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, forty one percent of millennials—those between 17... Continue reading
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There are steps you can take now to prepare for the cost of assisted living, which is only likely to increase in years to come. The sad truth is, for most people, savings and Social Security checks simply won’t be enough to cover the cost of assisted living. Many people... Continue reading
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There’s no way to know how far Republicans will get with tax reform, but one thing is clear: no one likes the federal estate tax. However, despite all of the fuss over the “death tax,” relatively few people actually end up paying the tax. Most people avoid it through savvy... Continue reading
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Knowing that healthcare costs are on the rise is one thing. But seeing the numbers in black and white can be a shocker. A recent report from Fidelity Investments reports on the costs, and what some companies are doing to help employees before they retire. An annual study by Fidelity... Continue reading
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It used to sound like a lot of money, but a new report says even with $1 million in retirement savings, where you live could make the difference between a comfortable retirement and running out of money. Depending on what state you live in and how long you live, having... Continue reading
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With a five-year prison term for the chief of Samsung, the global electronic powerhouse now has to determine how to go forward. The conviction and sentencing, which led to the president of the country being ousted, are likely to have a far-reaching impact. A recent article in USA Today, “Samsung... Continue reading
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Credit card debt is a serious challenge for a large group of Americans over age 50 that has a ripple effect on the quality of their retirement. The new MagnifyMoney analysis of data from a study conducted by the University of Michigan Retirement Research Center Health and Retirement, indicates that... Continue reading