Pay Attention to Your State Estate Tax Exemption

While the 2017 federal tax cut means most estates won’t be subject to the federal estate tax in 2018 and 2019, state estate tax is a different matter. Some states are not going along with the increase in the federal estate tax exemption. In 2017, Republicans in Congress and President Trump doubled the federal estate tax exemption and indexed it for inflation. In 2019, the …

4 provisions typically forgotten in an estate plan

Even if you’ve created an estate plan, are you sure you included everything you need to? There are certain provisions that people often forget to put in in a will or estate plan that can have a big impact on your family. 1. Alternate Beneficiaries One of the most important things your estate plan should include is at least one alternative beneficiary in case the …

3 steps to take once your child turns 18

If your child has reached the teenage years, you may already feel as though you are losing control of her life. This is legally true once your child reaches the age of 18 because then the state considers your child to be an adult with the legal right to govern his or her own life. Up until your child reaches 18, you are absolutely entitled to …

The best and worst states for elder protection

The older the population gets, the greater the potential for elder abuse. States have laws in place designed to combat elder abuse, but some states are doing a better job than others. The consumer finance website WalletHub researched the protections in place in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine which states have the best protections against elder abuse. The prevalence of …

Estate Planning and retirement considerations for late in life parents.

Older parents are becoming more common, driven in part by changing cultural mores and advances in infertility treatment. Comedian and author Steve Martin had his first child at age 67. Singer Billy Joel just welcomed his third daughter. Janet Jackson had a child at age 50. But later-in-life parents have some special estate planning and retirement considerations. The first consideration is to make sure you …

Use your will to dictate how you pay your debts

The main purpose of a will is to direct where your assets will go after you die, but it can also be used to instruct your heirs how to pay your debts. While generally, heirs cannot inherit debt, debt can reduce what they receive. Spelling out how debt should be paid can help your heirs. If someone dies with outstanding debt, the executor is responsible …

Is it better to use a joint ownership or a trust to pass down a house?

I have clients that always say they are going to add their child to title to their house to avoid probate. Its true when leaving a home to your children, you can avoid probate by using either joint ownership or a revocable trust, but which is the better method? If you add your child as a joint tenant on your house, you will each have an equal ownership …

Choosing Retirement Account Beneficiaries Requires Some Thought

While the execution of wills requires formalities like witnesses and a notary, the reality is that most property passes to heirs through other, less formal means. Many bank and investments accounts, as well as real estate, have joint owners who take ownership automatically at the death of the primary owner. Other banks and investment companies offer payable on death accounts that permit owners to name …

learn about social securities online tools

With the aging population becoming increasingly tech-savvy, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has moved a lot of services online. From applying for Social Security benefits to replacing a card, the SSA has online tools to help. To access most of the online services, you need to create a my Social Security account. This account allows you to receive personalized estimates of future benefits based on …

Living Wills: what are they?

A living will is a document that establishes your wishes as to what happens regarding your end of life treatment. We call it a declaration of natural death in South Carolina. This document gives the client the ability to make their own decision regarding the end of life treatment. It takes the burden of that decision making off of the client’s family. As many people …