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Michael E. Lehr
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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
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W. Marvin Rush II founded, what is now the biggest commercial truck dealership chain in North America. Lawsuits are now flying, between his third wife and his son, who claims that his father was incapacitated when new wills were created. The dispute over the estate of W. Marvin Rush II,... Continue reading
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The old saying that the first generation builds the business, the second generation struggles to maintain it and the third squanders everything, is sadly, statistically true. However, creating a legacy might give you better odds of success. If you’ve been responsible and had an estate plan created, you are way... Continue reading
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Are big changes coming to RMDs? An executive order may lead to changes that will have a big impact for 401(k) account owners and businesses. During a visit to Charlotte, North Carolina, President Trump signed an executive order that directs the Department of Labor to ease rules on MEPs—small business... Continue reading
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What would happen if someone who you don’t know—or someone you do—decides you are not competent and tries to become your legal guardian? Could it happen? The concept of guardianship for a senior is a difficult thing to consider. Maintaining your independence and remaining in charge of your own life... Continue reading
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It takes time to build a business, and it can take just as long to create a strong succession plan. Many business owners can’t imagine a life without the business they built, so they often postpone planning for their own retirement and the sale or transfer of the business. That... Continue reading
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People who receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, an incurable type of dementia, are overwhelmed by hopelessness. But two authors want to change that. The authors of a new book, “Better Living With Dementia,” say it’s time to break the “cycle of despair” that accompanies an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The Washington... Continue reading
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When was the last time you even remembered which of your accounts have beneficiary designations? If you don’t remember, it’s time to check them. Life insurance, IRAs, bank accounts and investment portfolios all have beneficiary designations. Investopedia says that outdated beneficiary designations can cause problems in its article, “The Importance... Continue reading
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The statistics aren’t encouraging. About three quarters of Americans are likely to need long-term care, but very few are ready for the costs. A recent article from Think Advisor paints a dismal picture of Americans who are just not preparing themselves for the inevitable facts of aging. The article, “Now... Continue reading
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Estate planning often serves as a reflection of a family’s experiences. In this instance, estate planning is used to protect the family and individuals with substance abuse problems. Estate planning attorneys hear all kinds of stories about bizarre family dynamics and difficult relatives. However, the national opioid epidemic is relatively... Continue reading
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Maybe people who went into the music in the past, led with their hearts and souls, like Aretha, but the difference in income is astronomical. As singers and actors from prior generations die and we learn about their business lives, there’s a huge disparity between their earnings and that of... Continue reading
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529 plans are a great way to help parents with taxes and college costs. Grandparents, aunts and uncles and anyone who wants to pitch in, can also benefit. Starting to put aside money in a 529 college plan when children are very young, is a wonderful way to push yourself... Continue reading
As we age, our medical costs often increase. There’s a good chance you’ll have to eventually pay for long-term care for yourself or a loved one, increasing out-of-pocket costs even more. While Medicare is available to individuals over the age of 65, it still doesn't cover every single cost or... Continue reading
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Thousands of consumers, many seniors, tricked into paying for promised prizes that never arrived. Federal officials announced the indictment of three people who used an old-school method—mail fraud—to scam at least $30 million from thousands of people across the country. The three, Tully Lovisa, Shaun Sullivan, and Lorraine Chalavoutis, were... Continue reading
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When the family vacation home is passed from one generation to the next, there are certain tax issues to be aware of, particularly the step-up in basis. However, there may also be state taxes. The first part of understanding the tax responsibility when you plan on giving it to your... Continue reading
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Selecting the individuals who will make important decisions on your behalf, when you are incapacitated or have passed away, is not to be done lightly. Is there a bomb ticking quietly in your estate plan? The chances are good that there is, says Forbes in “Defusing The Time Bombs In... Continue reading
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Will Bruce Forsyth still be as beloved, now that the public knows he did not leave any of his millions of dollars to his children? Or do they recognize a tax strategy that’s well known in the United Kingdom? The widow of one of England’s legendary entertainers, Bruce Forsyth, has... Continue reading
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To make it past the first generation, family owned businesses need a lot of communication and planning for succession. The challenge is clear: less than a third of all family owned businesses will survive to the second generation. By the third generation, prospects for survival are even worse—only one in... Continue reading
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How much of your Social Security benefits are taxable depends on several factors. You’ll need the bigger picture of your retirement income to know how much of a hit you can expect. Depending on the amount of other income and Social Security benefits, those benefits are included with other taxable... Continue reading
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If you want to be remembered as the person who made sure your heirs had all the information they needed about what you wanted, for funeral arrangements as well as what to do with Great Aunt Joan’s diamond bracelet, you might want to consider writing an ethical will. An inheritance... Continue reading