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 …

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 …

5 Things to Know to Reduce Your Tax on Capital Gains

Although it is often said that nothing is certain except death and taxes, the one tax you may be able to avoid or minimize most through planning is the tax on capital gains. Here's what you need to know to do such planning: What is capital gain? Capital gain is the difference between the “basis” in property — usually real estate or stocks, but also …

How to Handle Sibling Disputes Over a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents, but when one sibling is named in a power of attorney, there is the potential for disputes with other siblings. No matter which side you are on, it is important to know your rights and limitations. A power of attorney allows someone to appoint another person — an “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” — …

Gift taxes and you!

The IRS has announced that the gift tax exclusion has been raised for 2018. A person can gift an annual exclusion of $15,000 without any gift tax consequences. Which means that you and your spouse could gift a child a total of $30,000 without any gift taxes. The lifetime limit was raised to 11,180,000. Double that for a married couple. This is the amount you …