Articles

New Law Makes Big Changes to Retirement Plans

President Trump has signed a spending bill that makes major changes to retirement plans. The new law is designed to provide more incentives to save for retirement, but it may require workers to rethink some of their planning. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act changes the law surrounding retirement plans in several ways:

Understanding the Differences Between a Living Trust and an Irrevocable Trust

You may be thinking about setting up a trust to protect your assets, save on estate taxes, or perhaps set aside money for a special needs family member. Before you commit to a plan, make sure you understand the differences between the two basic types of trusts: the revocable (also called “living”) trust and the

What Is Asset Protection Planning?

Asset protection planning is about protecting your assets from creditors -- and it is not just for the super-wealthy. Anyone can get sued. Lawsuits can stem from car crashes, credit card debt, bank foreclosures, or unhappy customers, among many other things. If someone wins a monetary judgment against you, your family could become bankrupt trying

Understanding the Differences Between a Will and a Trust

Everyone has heard the terms "will" and "trust," but not everyone knows the differences between the two. Both are useful estate planning devices that serve different purposes, and both can work together to create a complete estate plan. One main difference between a will and a trust is that a will goes into effect only

Estate Planning When You Have a Stepfamily

Ideally, when a second marriage joins two families together, it should be a joyous occasion that creates one bigger family unit. Unfortunately, it too often also creates inheritance fights between stepparents and children. A good estate plan is necessary to help avoid these types of family squabbles. Complications can arise when two people who both

IRS Issues Inflation Adjustments Relevant To Estate And Retirement Planning

By Stanley M. Vasiliadis, Esquire, CELA Here are some important inflation adjustments for 2020: Federal Estate & Gift Tax Lifetime Exclusion Amount.  For persons who die or make taxable gifts in 2020, there is a lifetime exclusion of $11,580,000 -- $11.58 million.  With proper planning, a married couple can combine their exclusions and pass on

Medicare Premiums to Increase By Almost $10 a Month in 2020

After small or no increases the past couple of years, Medicare’s Part B premium will rise sharply in 2020. The basic monthly premium will increase $9.10, from $135.50 a month to $144.60. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the premium increase on November 8, 2019. Not everyone will pay the whole increase,

IRS Issues Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2020

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the amount taxpayers can deduct from their 2020 income as a result of buying long-term care insurance. Premiums for "qualified" long-term care insurance policies (see explanation below) are tax deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses (including Medicare premiums), exceed 10 percent of the

Should 529 Funds Be Transferred to an ABLE Account?

Thanks to recent changes in the tax law, families can now make limited transfers from existing 529 accounts to ABLE accounts with no tax consequences. Families with special needs children may be thinking about rolling existing 529 funds into ABLE accounts. Perhaps on the birth of your child, you started a 529 account to save up for college.

Don’t Let Medicare Open Enrollment Go By Without Reassessing Your Options

Medicare's Open Enrollment Period, during which you can freely enroll in or switch plans, runs from October 15 to December 7. Don't let this period slip by without shopping around to see whether your current choices are the best ones for you. During this period you may enroll in a Medicare Part D (prescription drug)