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How Can I Create Estate Planning Documents During the Pandemic?

Even in its first few weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic caused many people to examine or reassess what is most important to them. The need to prepare in case of an emergency or untimely death has been highlighted by the tragic losses occurring around the country. What can you do if you can’t meet with your Read More

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What Advance Medical Directives Should I Have in Place If I’m Concerned About COVID-19?

Though it’s always been true, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven home the point that a debilitating medical condition can strike without warning. Whether you’re fighting the coronavirus or are incapacitated for some other reason, your wishes regarding medical treatment should be honored by family members and healthcare providers. An experienced attorney can help you put Read More

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Understanding How COVID-19 May Have Affected the Value of Your Estate

The economic and personal upheaval triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to warrant a review of your estate plan, no matter how thorough you think it is. As Americans cope with health fears and financial volatility, it’s worthwhile to determine whether a will, trust, advance medical directive or other legal instrument needs to be Read More

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Who should own your life insurance policy?

If you own life insurance policies at your death, the proceeds will be included in your taxable estate. Ownership is usually determined by several factors, including who has the right to name the beneficiaries of the proceeds. The way around this problem is to not own the policies when you die. However, don’t automatically rule Read More

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ABCs of HSAs: How an HSA can benefit your estate plan

One health care arrangement that has been soaring in popularity in recent years has been the pairing of a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA). The good news is that not only does an HSA provide a tax-advantaged way to pay for health care costs, but it also can help you Read More

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Don’t overlook tax apportionment when planning your estate

If you expect your estate to have a significant estate tax liability at your death, be sure to include a well-thought-out tax apportionment clause in your will or revocable trust. An apportionment clause specifies how the estate tax burden will be allocated among your beneficiaries. Omission of this clause, or failure to word it carefully, Read More

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The stretch IRA: A simple yet powerful estate planning tool

The IRA’s value as a retirement planning tool is well known: IRA assets compound on a tax-deferred (or, in the case of a Roth IRA, tax-free) basis, which can help build a more substantial nest egg. But if you don’t need an IRA to fund your retirement, you can use it as an estate planning Read More

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Are you familiar with fraudulent transfer laws?

A primary goal of your estate plan is to transfer wealth to your family according to your wishes and at the lowest possible tax cost. However, if you have creditors, be aware of fraudulent transfer laws. In a nutshell, if your creditors challenge your gifts, trusts or other strategies as fraudulent transfers, they can quickly Read More

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Leaving specific assets to specific heirs is an estate planning no-no

Planning your estate around specific assets is risky and, in most cases, should be avoided. If you leave specific assets — such as a home, a car or stock — to specific people, you could end up inadvertently disinheriting someone. Unintended consequences Here’s an example that illustrates the problem: Kim has three children — Sarah, Read More

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Are your retirement savings secure from creditors?

A primary goal of estate planning is asset protection. After all, no matter how well your estate plan is designed, it won’t do much good if you wind up with no wealth to share with your family. If you have significant assets in employer-sponsored retirement plans or IRAs, it’s important to understand the extent to Read More

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