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Ball Corley PLLC
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At this start of a new year, the Ball Corley team wants to thank our clients, referral sources and other friends for the trust you’ve placed in us to help you build and protect your legacy for the benefit of your family and the causes most dear to you. We... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2016 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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(Wednesday, September 16, 2015) Say “I Do” to Estate Planning Before the Wedding Ceremony As the fall wedding season begins, advisers should make sure they have a comprehensive plan to help clients who are getting married. Advisers need to look at the big picture, like if the couple's retirement goals... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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We are ready with our summary version of the past week’s posts for your review. If you missed any day, you can also catch up right here, too. We feel it is very important for you to keep your estate planning as a current and live topic. There are so... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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Estate planning doesn’t concern itself only with financial savings or your home. It can also include your property and land. And in no other industry is land more valuable than farming. By building and implementing an airtight estate plan, farmers and ranchers can ensure a smooth transition of land ownership and management when the time comes. An estate plan can provide for the needs of all family members, even those who aren’t actively engaged in its daily functions. It also can help mitigate the risk of high inheritance taxes on land that is made more valuable by inflation. And because land is not a liquid asset, an estate plan is important in stemming and addressing any potential settlement problems. Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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When you dare to think ahead to the last days of your life (if you dare to think about that), what do you imagine? If you are like 70 percent of Americans, you dream of spending your final days at home, in peace and comfort, surrounded by loved ones who care for you compassionately until your last breath. But in reality, the CDC reports that 70 percent of Americans actually die in a hospital, nursing home or long-term care facility. Why are so few people able to realize their end of life dream? Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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As the fall wedding season begins, advisers should make sure they have a comprehensive plan to help clients who are getting married. Advisers need to look at the big picture, like if the couple's retirement goals align, and the nitty gritty, such as insurance policies and estate plans that need updating. The process should start when the couple gets engaged. Just as an architect wouldn't go into an initial client meeting with blueprints, an adviser should get to know a client's spouse-to-be first before creating a plan. Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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Call it the triple-whammy: An elderly parent, a new significant other and an aging bull market. A reader recently shared his frustrations over watching his elderly father gift a large portion of his assets to a new girlfriend. He is his father's designated power of attorney, but there's not a lot he can do about the situation because the father hasn't been declared (often by a physician) to be incapacitated. The months or years leading up to a determination that would trigger a power of attorney designation are complex and often emotionally painful. Families are concerned about a combination of big withdrawals and low returns at the end of life that will ultimately decimate the elders' savings and leave adult children on the hook to make up the difference. Many of the worst financial abusers are the very children or other relatives who are supposed to be looking out for these seniors, experts say. Is the new girlfriend unduly influencing the senior or taking incredible care of him? Or are the children just trying to preserve their inheritance? Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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The facts of life include remarriage. Almost 42 million adults in the U.S. have been married more than once, up from 22 million in 1980, according to the Pew Research Center. For older Americans, remarriage can pose estate planning problems. Even for couples who share children, potential remarriage might be a concern. And even if remarriage isn't a concern, your surviving spouse may need help protecting assets from scam artists. So how can you provide for a surviving spouse yet still leave your wealth to children from a prior marriage? Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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Here is one more opportunity to review the favorite post from last week. Enjoy- Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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We're pleased to offer our summary version of the past week's posts for your review. Enjoy- Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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Updating your estate plan isn't something you think about too often. Why should it be? You're happy, healthy, and you have a good life. Letting the negative "what ifs" creep in only puts a damper on your day. As painful as it is to consider, estate plans are critical. If anything happens to you, it's important to know your loved ones are taken care of and your wishes are honored. Throughout life, those last wishes change with the major events you go through. Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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We love our pets. Nearly two-thirds of all Americans have a pet, and among those who do, nearly 70% have a dog; 50% have a cat; 11% have fish; 8% have birds; and 7% have horses, rodents or reptiles. Nearly 90% of all pet owners consider their pets to be part of their family, and in some cases, their pets are their only family. Many pet owners, however, are unaware or uninformed as to what might happen to their pets should they die or become incapacitated. Traditionally, a legal obstacle to leaving money to care for pets, both during life and after death, was common law. Pets had been treated historically as personal property and therefore could not own property in their name – nor could they be beneficiaries of a trust. That began to change in 1990 when the Uniform Probate Code was amended to recognize the creation of Pet Trusts, and states began to enact pet trust laws that govern in the event of an owner’s death or disability. Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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The Internal Revenue Service is about to toughen the rules on a type of investment vehicle that has been abused by some very wealthy families to avoid millions of dollars in taxes. The wealthy are allowed to use family limited partnerships, family limited liability companies and their variants to hold family businesses, real estate or other illiquid, hard-to-value investments. And they can discount the value of the assets because that is seen as the only way people outside the family would buy in, particularly since nonfamily members have no control over what the partnership does. But some partnerships have put marketable securities, even cash, into the entities and still claimed a discount even though the investments have a value that is easy to determine. Others have taken steep and unreasonable discounts on the value of the partnership shares solely on the basis that the entity itself is family-owned. A few have gone so far as to value the assets they hold at a steep discount for estate tax purposes only to turn around and liquidate the partnerships and distribute the cash as soon as the statute of limitations on estate tax audits has passed. Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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The Orange County Public Administrator’s Office has dealt with its share of unusual inheritances. There was the protection they once had to arrange for a $500,000 ring. And there was the pet eel. But the upcoming estate sale of Gerald Willits, a Buena Park man who died in August 2014 and left 69 cars in his yard, is “very unusual,” according to Elizabeth Henderson, chief deputy public administrator for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. “A lot of times, we get a couple of cars; occasionally we’ll get a fancy sports car,” she said. “But this is massively interesting.” And not only because of the cars. Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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When it comes to managing and growing your wealth, it pays to have a deep bench. Who’s on your money team? Among Millionaire investors who work with a team of advisors, one-third consider a team of two advisors to be ideal, while 36 percent prefer to work with a team of three. Of those who consider a money team of two to be ideal, the highest percentage (41 percent) are Millionaire Baby Boomers ages 45-54. Of those who consider three advisors to be the optimum money team, the highest percentage (56 percent) are Gen Xers ages 36-44. Ultra High Net Worth households with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million are most likely to field a money team of at least three advisors. Nearly four-in-ten (39 percent) consider a team of three to be ideal. Among these investors, the age groups most likely to agree are those under 50 (50 percent) and seniors over the age of 65 (40 percent). Who do you want on your money team? You can’t tell the players without a scorecard. The website Workable Wealth identified several key players and the positions they play. Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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Here's another chance to review the most visited post of last week. Enjoy- Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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Please take a few minutes and review our summary version of our past week's posts. Enjoy- Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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A Naperville businessman was sentenced recently to seven years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $3.3 million in restitution for conning clients into investing in nonexistent Turkish bonds as part of an elaborate, $28 million Ponzi scheme, authorities said. John T. Burns III was an owner and operator of USA Retirement Management Services, according to a release from the office of Zachary T. Fardon, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. The release said Burns persuaded a dozen clients to invest more than $3.3 million in Turkish bonds "on the promise of lucrative returns." He told the investors – many of them retirees – "that he had substantial experience investing money on behalf of clients; that he and his parents were personally invested in the bonds; and that the profitable returns in those investments were providing financial security to him and his family," the release read in part. Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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To some estate planning attorneys, trusts are the default option. Their wealthy clients generally pass assets to heirs that way. Trusts can keep inherited wealth safe; assets left outright to individuals may be vulnerable to estate tax and divorce and creditors and scam artists. That said, trusts might not always be the best choice for wealth transfer. "I agree with the use of trusts, when appropriate, for significant asset inheritances," says Gil Armour, a financial advisor with SagePoint Financial in San Diego. "However, I have always been a fan of simplicity. An outright inheritance to an individual is much quicker, simpler, and doesn't require ongoing trust tax returns. Virtually every one of my clients has specified individuals as the primary beneficiary for their retirement accounts. They are confident that their spouse or adult child will manage the assets in a responsible fashion." Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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While families are working on their financial plan, saving for retirement, buying a new house, or updating their insurance policies, all too often, estate planning is put on the back burner. Just as life happens, so does death. An unexpected death can result in a situation where the estate plan in place does not apply to the current situation, specifically when the age of the beneficiaries was not considered and minor children inherit money and property. Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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Laura, a single mother with breast cancer, no income, and no medical insurance, was over $300,000 in medical debt. While her doctors addressed her cancer, they could do little to help her deal with the devastating financial consequences of her illness. Fortunately, Laura's doctor referred her to a nonprofit that provides free legal services to low-income people living with cancer. Her attorney was able to get her approved for Social Security Disability, and eventually Medicaid, which retroactively covered all of her medical bills. Laura's story is not unusual. People living with cancer face daunting legal and economic challenges. Many struggle with insurance disputes, obtaining public benefits, housing, loss of employment, future care and custody planning of minor children and estate planning. The ramifications of cancer have a particularly disproportionate and destructive effect on uninsured, low-income, and at-risk populations. The National Cancer Legal Services Network (NCLSN) was established in 2009 to increase the availability of legal services for people like Laura. By connecting cancer patients with legal services, the NCLSN works to lift their legal burdens, allowing them to focus instead on their medical care and improving their quality of life. Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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Estate planning tends to get pushed to the back burner, as more pressing financial tasks take center stage. But neglecting estate planning is a huge mistake. Estate planning may involve hiring an attorney or financial advisor, but plenty of people make the mistake of going about estate planning on their own. Some 38% of those with investable assets over $1 million haven't used a professional to help with their estate planning, according to a CNBC survey. "Most people don't want to think about dying," said Ryan Wibberly, CEO of CIC Wealth based in Gaithersburg, Md. "Part of your financial planning needs to include a discussion about the next generation and wealth transfer." Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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Please take a moment to read the most visited post of last week. Enjoy- Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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Please take a few minutes to catch any posts you missed this past week. Enjoy- Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning
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If you stand to inherit millions of dollars, the first thought to cross your mind is most likely not going to be that you should give it up. That will not cross most people's minds at all. However, in some cases, giving up the inheritance is the wisest course of action. Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2015 at Little Rock Estate Planning