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Michael E. Lehr
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On the short list of why you need a will: your family won’t know how you wanted to distribute your possessions or what kind of funeral you wanted. They may also fight over the distribution. The cost in legal fees and taxes will also take a big bite out of... Continue reading
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How do you divide a nearly trillion-dollar empire when a divorce occurs and the CEO doesn’t have a prenup? Investors are wondering and watching to see. With a 16% stake in the Amazon, how will founder Jeff Bezos’ divorce impact the company? There’s no prenup in place, and since MacKenzie... Continue reading
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Was 2018 the year you finalized your divorce? Many people did all they could to finalize their divorces before New Year’s Eve, because there are new tax rules that will impact ex-spouses in 2019. There’s bad news for those who did not get their divorce finalized by the end of... Continue reading
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Since the financial recession of 2008, many baby boomers changed their thinking about their retirement savings. They aren’t as optimistic as they once were and don’t expect to retire debt-free. The recession took the wind out of many baby boomer’s financial sails. These 75 million Americans have more debt in... Continue reading
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Most donations are made in December, and charities of all shapes and sizes make the most of the holiday spirit. However, by taking a bit of time to plan out charitable giving, including doing some research and talking with your family about your legacy, your giving could have a greater... Continue reading
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World-class tax planning has had a big impact on the Bush family, with earned and inherited money stretched as far as possible. The Bush dynasty has had excellent financial advice, and it shows, by virtue of being almost invisible. The whole point of multi-generational family wealth when properly handled is... Continue reading
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By giving licenses to at least ten nursing home owners who had a history of poor patient care in other facilities that they owned in the Buffalo area, New York State has failed to protect its seniors. Buffalo area advocates for nursing home residents are battling to protect seniors by... Continue reading
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Do your heirs understand the history and value of your livestock? If not, start educating them now, including discussing how they fit into your estate plan. Assets like the family home and land are what most ranchers think about, when they are talking with their estate planning attorney about dividing... Continue reading
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People start thinking in more concrete terms about retirement when the concept becomes a reality, often about ten years out. That’s when the planning has to get real. Both football and retirement planning have a “red zone,” where the game is won or lost, says Investopedia in a recent article,... Continue reading
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If someone wanted to give you a gift that would make your life less stressful and help you save a lot of money and time, we bet you’d welcome it. Consider starting a new tradition with your family, suggests the Brainerd (MN) Dispatch in the article “Give the gift of... Continue reading
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An end-of-year decision from the IRS about the new tax law and gifting has given people with generous spirits and hefty bank accounts reasons to be cheerful about gifting. Increases to basic estate and gift tax exemptions were welcomed by many when the new tax law details were unveiled. However,... Continue reading
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The battle between three of Glen Campbell’s eight children and his widow has ended with them agreeing to dismiss their pursuit of a portion of their father’s estate. With the resolution of this outstanding claim, the estate of Glen Campbell can now be resolved, reports The Tennessean in “Glen Campbell’s... Continue reading
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Don’t have a medical directive, or don’t remember the last time you reviewed it? That means it’s time. We never know when an emergency or sudden onset illness will strike. The biggest problem with medical directives, is getting people to confront the concept of being incapacitated or near death. Once... Continue reading
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More than a dozen health care and provider organizations are working with law makers in an attempt to preserve financial protection for spouses of seniors, who are receiving long-term care at home or in community settings under Medicaid. All the years of saving and planning for retirement, and now your... Continue reading
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Remember that estate planning is not just for the wealthy, and now that the federal exemption is so high, not just for the billionaires either. Estate planning is also much more than a will. Your estate plan has a lot of work to do for you, both while you are... Continue reading
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If you’re among those with the highest income, you’ll see a new surcharge tier in 2019. According to an announcement from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, most seniors will pay $135.50 per month for Medicare Part B in 2019. In 2018, that was $134. Kiplinger’s recent article, “What... Continue reading
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This is a sad reminder that much elder financial abuse takes place at the hands of family members. In this case, a son and daughter-in-law have been charged with taking more than $150,000 from the 86-year-old father. Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick says that the fourth largest financial case since... Continue reading
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Having a prenup is not planning for divorce, and you don’t have to be rich to need one. However, you should have a prenup, for other reasons. What’s it cost? Depends. A prenup is a prenuptial agreement that both parties sign before they marry, to clarify what would happen to... Continue reading
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Just because Warren Buffet wants billionaires to sign his giving pledge, doesn’t mean you have to. However, not everyone wants to leave everything to their kids. There are many reasons why some parents simply don’t want to give all, or a large portion of their assets to their children. Type... Continue reading
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Young people don’t think they’ll ever need any kind of will. However, a living will makes sense for people at every age and stage of life. We never know when a serious illness or injury will occur. New guidelines have been released about living wills from the American Bar Association... Continue reading
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Saving for college but needing to receive Medicaid is a complicated equation. The answer “It depends” is not much of a comfort when considering how college savings accounts will be treated for Medicaid purposes. However, it is, unfortunately, the most accurate answer. There are several factors that must be considered:... Continue reading
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Estate litigation is never pleasant, but heirs have rights, and, in some situations, they have to fight back, when an executor is not acting in the best interest of the beneficiaries. When siblings are able to work together to settle their parent’s estate, it may take a little time and... Continue reading
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Here’s one celebrity savvy about estate planning. Actor and producer Brad Pitt has an estate plan that will keep his money away from his ex and benefit his children through a $250 million trust. After reading about so many celebrities who fail to plan for the future, it’s refreshing to... Continue reading
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If you are among the one million Americans living in Canada, you’ll need to remember that you are still subject to U.S. tax law. Your income, regardless of where you earn it, needs to be reported to both the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as well as the Internal Revenue Service.... Continue reading
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Your legacy is far richer than your assets and possessions. Planning to pass on a legacy to your family becomes more rewarding, when it includes non-tangibles, like values and treasured family stories. Who wants to think about death, dying and bank accounts? Not too many people do. That’s why so... Continue reading