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Simmons & Schiavo, LLP
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Experts predict that the estate tax exemption for 2018 will increase slightly to $5.49 million for a single person and $10.98 million for couples. The IRS has not yet announced what the 2018 estate tax exemption will be. However, expert analysts think there will be some slightly good news for... Continue reading
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People who are opposed to eliminating the estate tax are often seen as wanting to do nothing more than to punish the wealthy. However, some of them are more concerned about the impact that estate tax repeal could have on charities. At first glance, it might not seem like there... Continue reading
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It is not enough to get an estate plan once and leave it alone for all time. It needs to be constantly reviewed and updated to take account of changing circumstances. Some people can get away with getting an estate plan once and never looking at it again. If someone... Continue reading
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It is not all that unusual for a child to not live up to the expectations of parents. Sometimes parents will be so disappointed when that happens, that they will attempt to cut the child out of their estate plans. They might want to reconsider. Wealthy parents often have extremely... Continue reading
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Creating a will, trust, or any type of estate plan has always involved dealing with an uncertain future. Consider that just 20 years ago in 1997, the estate tax had an astonishing 55% rate with only a $600,000 exemption. Back then, tax-driven estate planning was a mathematical necessity for a... Continue reading
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A big concern for many people when they are planning their estates, is that they do not trust the people their children married. They fear that a son or daughter-in-law will waste their children's inheritances. The situation where parents do not get along with their sons and daughters-in-law is a... Continue reading
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If you want to have a say in who gets your possessions after you pass away, then you need to get an estate plan or at least write something down. A commonly held belief is that it really is not that important to get an estate plan, if you do... Continue reading
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Many people are surprised to learn that although insurance proceeds may not be taxable for income tax purpose, they are still included in your gross estate for estate tax purposes. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced attorney you can remove these proceeds from your estate so that they are... Continue reading
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Being prepared for a crisis as your parents get older is essential, but the conversations are tough and it’s hard to know where to start. In the end, taking these steps to prepare now will make life easier. Tip 1: Ask about their financial, legal and insurance providers and professionals.... Continue reading
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One way to make people hesitate before challenging a will or trust, is to include a no-contest clause, which disinherits them, if they file a legal challenge. People often get very upset when they think they have not received their fair share of a deceased family member's estate. They can... Continue reading
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A woman in New York left a large sum of money for her cats in her will. It is becoming fashionable for wealthy people to leave large inheritances for the care of their pets, after the owner passes away. Every few months, another story makes the rounds in the media.... Continue reading
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California's new law to allow physician-assisted death continues to be controversial, but doctors are starting to see a hidden benefit to the law. The recently enacted law that allows terminally ill patients in California to request lethal prescription medicine from their doctors, has caused a lot of controversy in the... Continue reading
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A surviving spouse has the right to an inheritance, in almost all circumstances. Most people do not want to cut their spouses out of their estate plan. However, there are some people who have built up a lifetime's worth of grievances, have not gotten a divorce and who do try... Continue reading
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Many people get trusts as their primary estate planning instrument because of the estate tax, but trusts do have many other benefits. With Congress taking up tax reform soon, one thing that many people are following is President Trump's desire to eliminate the estate tax. It is important for many... Continue reading
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Some of the biggest estate planning mistakes that people make are not technically estate planning, but they can have a big effect on an estate. When people are planning for their estates, they want to make sure they do not make any mistakes. It is important that the plans can... Continue reading
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People who do not have very many assets, still need to get estate plans. However, the best plans for them may not be the same as the best plans for wealthier people. Much of the estate planning advice you can find online is written with the idea that the person... Continue reading
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Everyone needs to prepare for Alzheimer's Disease. They should do so long before they think that they might get it, because it is not just the elderly who suffer from the disease. The typical view of people with Alzheimer's Disease is of an elderly person in a nursing home who... Continue reading
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If you are expecting your first child, there are a few things that you need to do before the due date to make sure that you are financially prepared. Having your first child is an exciting time in anyone's life. People make all kinds of plans about the child. Names... Continue reading
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If you have a trust, you might find by looking carefully at the estate planning documents that you do not really need to put assets into the trust while you are alive. Don’t let that fool you. When you get a living trust, the estate planning attorney who drafted the... Continue reading
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If you would like to stay in your current home when you are elderly, then you might need to make changes to it now to make it a comfortable place for an elderly person to live. Most homes in the U.S. were not built with elderly people in mind. This... Continue reading
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There are three basic ways for your assets to be transferred on your death: A Will, which is the standard method A Living Trust, which offers some advantages over a Will Beneficiary Designations, for assets such as life insurance, 401 (k)s and IRAs If you die without either a Will... Continue reading
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Estate Planning is typically associated with your wishes will be carried out after your death. But it’s also important that your plan addresses incapacity due to illness, injury, advanced age or other circumstances. As with other aspects of your Estate Plan, the time to act is now, while you’re still... Continue reading
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The myth that estate planning is something that only wealthy people need to do is wrong, but ever present. In popular culture, it is very rare to ever see average people planning for their estates. TV shows and movies that feature middle class people, almost never include anything about estate... Continue reading
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I recently purchased a copy of King Lear. Somehow, I had never read this Shakespeare classic. Now, being semi-retired I have some time to read things like this that I missed. Wow. This is a serious tragedy. And it arises from a failure of retirement and estate planning. In case... Continue reading
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According to Jared Diamond "there's an irony behind the latest efforts to extend human life: It's no picnic to be an old person in a youth-oriented society. Older people can become isolated, lacking meaningful work and low on funds. In this intriguing talk, Jared Diamond looks at how many different... Continue reading