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 …

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 …

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 …

10 Ways the Elderly Can Avoid Financial Abuse

Increased dependency due to illness, disability or cognitive impairments can make seniors susceptible to financial abuse. Nest eggs accumulated over decades also often make seniors attractive targets for predators, whether the predator is an offshore bogus sweepstakes or a care provider who sees an opportunity to be paid more than an hourly wage. Just as sunlight makes the best disinfectant, transparency provides the strongest abuse …