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Michael E. Lehr
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The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has recently changed the procedure for adding a beneficiary to a vehicle title. The MVA is no longer using Form VR 471 to designate a beneficiary of a vehicle. There is now the option of adding a beneficiary to your title via the MVA's website,... Continue reading
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Do the words bitcoin and IRA belong in the same sentence? If you use bitcoin for a self-directed IRA, your investment could go big—up or down. Is that a risk you are willing to take? Every financial news outlet is exploring bitcoin, with some saying it’s the future of global... Continue reading
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The simple request that his land be forever maintained as a nature preserve has been overshadowed by a legal battle between his executors, who used funds from the estate to pay off debts on the property, and siblings who disagree with the executor’s actions. Outdoorsman Carl Bergstresser made it very... Continue reading
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Reports say that the former New England Patriots player set up an irrevocable trust prior to taking his own life, but a closed-door hearing and a gag order may keep many facts from being made public. According to Yahoo, in “Report: Aaron Hernandez may have hidden money in trust before... Continue reading
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Winnowing out the legitimate heirs to Prince’s estate is still going on, but there are signs of progress. A word of advice to rock legends and mere mortals: make sure that you have a will! Petitions brought by Darcell Gresham Johnston and Venita Jackson Leverette, who claim to be half... Continue reading
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A centuries-old private estate that functions to provide income to the Queen, has a modern-day image issue now that some investments have been made public. A massive number of documents revealed by a group of investigative reporters, known as the “Paradise Papers,” includes information about the investments made by the... Continue reading
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The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became generally effective on January 1, 2018. The Act provides several changes to the estate and gift tax, including an increased exemption amount for the estate and gift tax, new rates and brackets, and a modified kiddie tax. Below are excerpts from Thompson... Continue reading
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Yes, you can roll money from a traditional IRA into an HSA to transform your tax-deferred savings into tax-free withdrawals. However, you may only do so if you are using those dollars for medical bills. To get the biggest tax bang for your bucks, you’ll want to contribute new funds... Continue reading
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Maybe you don’t care about what happens to your “stuff” when you pass, but wouldn’t you rather be the one making decisions about your health and finances if you are unable to? Here’s the thing that most people get wrong. Even if you have no spouse, no children and no... Continue reading
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The same generation that redefined music, clothing and culture has its own priorities for the assets they’ve accumulated. It’s not leaving it behind for the next generation. Only a third of baby boomers asked—ages 65 to 75—said that passing money along to their heirs was a priority, according to a... Continue reading
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Legacy planning and estate planning are two different things. However, you may have noticed recently that the two phrases are being used interchangeably. Let’s clear up any confusion right now. First of all, let’s clear this up: “legacy planning” is not the same thing as “estate planning” in estate planning... Continue reading
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Retirement planning includes considering how much income our retirement savings will generate. However, there are other financial issues to also consider as well, including debt. Estate plans and retirement plans meet at a few different points. Both should contain properly prepared documents that allow someone to make medical decisions and... Continue reading
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The following is the most recent (as of 12/16/17) high level summary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act from the House Ways and Means Committee website. We will be following up with a more specific review of estate and gift tax law changes and recommendations after the law is... Continue reading
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If you’ve never been an executor of an estate, you may be in for a few surprises. Things don’t always happen when you want them to, and you don’t always have control over the time frame. Once you have been part of settling an estate, whether as the executor or... Continue reading
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Law enforcement officials, elder lawyers and CPAs all have financial elder abuse in their sights, as a large generation of Americans reaches their senior years and becomes a target for scammers. The numbers are high already—one in 20 seniors says that they have been the victim of financial abuse, according... Continue reading
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One of the first signs of seniors losing cognitive skills, is an inability to handle their personal finances. For spouses, partners or adult children who must step in, this presents a number of legal, as well as emotional, issues. As with so many other elements of estate planning, preparing in... Continue reading
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With more than $26 trillion saved for retirement, many Americans are making good use of retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs. If you are saving for retirement, 2018 will be a good year for you, according to a recent article in Kiplinger’s “2018 Retirement Contribution Limits for 401(k)s and IRAs.”... Continue reading
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The rules about inherited IRAs are complex, and mistakes can be costly. These accounts need to be addressed for tax planning and in your estate plan. Mistakes made with an inherited IRA can become very expensive, very quickly. A recent article in The Hampton Roads Business Journal, “You may be... Continue reading
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More independence, greater financial security and a better quality of life – that’s the future Maryland ABLE wants to help build. Maryland ABLE accounts are a new way to help individuals with disabilities save money and pay for qualified disability-related expenses without jeopardizing state or federal means-tested benefits such as... Continue reading
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Of all the many tasks that farmers must complete, the one they are most likely to put off is putting a plan in place to pass the farm to the next generation. It requires considering one’s own mortality and dealing with complex financial and tax issues. Most farmers would rather... Continue reading
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Through the generosity and civic dedication of a visionary philanthropist, New Jersey hospital and community benefited during his life and after his passing. Emil Simonetti was actively engaged in his community, supporting a number of organizations by taking leadership positions and giving generously of his time and financial resources. His... Continue reading
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Lawmakers love to talk about dismantling the federal estate tax, because they get a good response from voters. However, few Americans actually pay the federal estate tax, with most who might be eligible using smart estate planning to avoid it. The popularity of eliminating the federal estate tax always makes... Continue reading
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Life insurance is often used as part of estate planning, particularly for wealthy business owners. However, many are not aware of what premium financed life insurance is, or how it works. While most people understand the value of life insurance as part of their estate planning strategy, there are a... Continue reading
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With proper planning, it may be possible to avoid state estate taxes. However, it must be done in advance and most families will benefit from the help of an experienced professional. It’s a common scenario: a surviving spouse inherits all of the couple’s assets, which are more than the state’s... Continue reading
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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