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Kiernan Waters
Annapolis
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The Queen of Soul died without putting a will or an estate plan in place. Things are now starting to get ugly. There’s a police investigation and a dispute between the estate and her ex-husband, the father of one of her four sons. Processing the estate of Aretha Franklin is... Continue reading
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The first rule of Medicare is that it does not pay for everything. The next rule: you have to do your homework. Don’t be swayed by strong sales pitches. Switching to Medicare from a traditional employer’s health insurance plan can be a little unnerving at first. There are things that... Continue reading
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Out-of-date beneficiary designations could completely undo your entire estate plan. It happens often since people often neglect these ‘fine print’ details. We hope that you have a will to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass. However, if you are like most Americans, many... Continue reading
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If your will does not address this issue, then your state’s laws will be applied. Estate planning attorneys deal with unexpected issues all of the time, and by their nature, some of them involve sensitive and sad topics. A recent article in The Carroll County Times addressed the question of... Continue reading
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A civil law that has been in place since 1939 is rarely used, but as the cost of long-term care and nursing facilities keeps rising, some experts think it might get dusted off. South Dakota is one of 29 states that have an adult child payment requirement, commonly known as... Continue reading
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The rules are strict and mistakes can be costly. Inheriting an IRA is not like inheriting any other asset. You’ll need to be very careful to follow the rules. Usually the parent is the beneficiary and the children (or grandchildren) are the successor beneficiaries. Here’s how it works, as described... Continue reading
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There are a number of different estate planning documents that are easily confused, including “Power of Attorney.” Let’s get a look at the different types of “Power of Attorney,” and what they do. Of the estate planning documents, most people have heard of a will and some have a health... Continue reading
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If you need to be convinced that estate planning is not just for the wealthy, here’s something to consider. Without a will, the state makes the decisions about who receives your assets when you die and who raises your child. With no medical directive in place, your loved ones won’t... Continue reading
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You’ve been making deposits in these retirement accounts for years, if not decades. But do you really understand how they save you money in taxes? Most of us are very responsible about making our regular contributions to 401(k), 403(b) or IRAs, but when it comes to really knowing why this... Continue reading
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Sharing values and family histories to younger generations is something that takes place over the course of a lifetime. However, it can also be put into an ethical will to create a more cohesive message. For centuries, people have used ethical wills or legacy letters to share the values and... Continue reading
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It’s great to take a trip home and catch up with family, especially when you live far away. However, if this is the year that you arrive to find big changes in your aging parents, here’s some help about what your next steps might be. When nostalgia doesn’t quite match... Continue reading
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The typical example is an ex-spouse getting all your retirement savings. However, what if you have a child with an opioid addition, you die, and he or she inherits hundreds of thousands of dollars—that vanish in less than a year? The assets that you own can be passed to your... Continue reading
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These are common questions discussed when planning retirements: Social Security, women and retirement, and couples adjusting to retirement together. While every article about when to start taking Social Security benefits focuses on delaying as long as possible, until age 70, to maximize the monthly payment you receive, there are a... Continue reading
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The IRA is the backbone of many people’s retirement savings plans, and the Roth IRA is a particular favorite. A Roth lets you take withdrawals tax free at any time and tax-free withdrawals of earnings on contributions after a five-year holding period, as long as you are at least 59... Continue reading
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Too many people don’t understand the importance of estate planning as a means of protecting themselves and their families, while they are living. There’s more to estate planning than meets the eye! What happens when an adult is injured in a terrible accident and is in a coma? If the... Continue reading
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Most of us don’t realize how important it is to save and plan for retirement, until we’re around the corner from that big change. Sometimes you can catch up, and sometimes you have to delay retiring. It truly does take a lifetime to prepare for retirement. That is, if you... Continue reading
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An unintended consequence of the Trump tax cuts basically eliminating the federal estate tax, is that several states that tied their state estate tax to the federal estate tax are running into problems. States that used the federal estate tax to set their own estate tax rates have found that... Continue reading
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It makes sense that the people who come in contact with the elderly about their health and property be required to report any kind of elder abuse. After all, they are on the front lines where abuse often occurs. Ohio has expanded the number of professionals who are now required... Continue reading
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If it seems like every time you start to understand Social Security, there’s something else to learn, you’re right. However, this is an important part of your retirement income, so it’s important to understand. The Social Security earnings test is a way that the agency determines the limit of the... Continue reading
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Most of us consider naming a friend or relative with a background in finance or law to be a trustee for our family, but there is an alternative that is important to consider. A corporate trustee will have a very different approach to managing a trust, and depending on your... Continue reading
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A healthy life where you retain all your faculties and enjoy yourself, is definitely preferred to decades of dementia. We don’t get to choose, but we can plan. As Baby Boomers continue to change the face of aging, and so many embrace the idea of genetic testing, many are confronted... Continue reading
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It’s great that overall our life expectancies have increased, but with longer lives, comes a greater risk of bad choices and financial elder abuse. There are steps you can take to protect those you love. As we age, so does our brain. Even high functioning retirees, who have no outward... Continue reading
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With less than half of Americans having an estate plan in place, we are in the same boat as celebrities, like Aretha Franklin or Prince. While our estates may not match their assets, the messes left behind are just as painful to family members. A recent survey from caring.com found... Continue reading
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Whether or not to roll a 401(k) into an IRA when you are changing jobs or retiring early, does not have a simple yes/no answer. There are a number of factors to consider. If your retirement plan includes retiring before you reach age 59 ½, you may not want to... Continue reading
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You might think that pastors, who lead congregations in occasions of birth and death, would be a little more aware than the rest of us of the events of life, and by extension, the need for an estate plan. However, a recent survey shows otherwise. A survey of Southern Baptist... Continue reading