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Passing Assets to Grandchildren Through a Generation-Skipping Trust

Passing assets to your grandchildren can be a great way to ensure their future is provided for, and a generation-skipping trust can help you accomplish this goal while reducing estate taxes and also providing for your children.   A generation-skipping trust allows you to “skip” over the generation directly below you and pass your assets

How You Can End Up in Medicare’s Donut Hole, and How You Get Out

Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plans can have a coverage gap—called the "donut hole"--which limits how much Medicare will pay for your drugs until you pay a certain amount out of pocket. Although the gap has gotten much smaller since Medicare Part D was introduced in 2006, there still may be a difference in what you

What Is a Directed Trust and What Are Its Benefits?

Directed trusts can be a useful estate planning tool, allowing you to place your family’s assets in a trust but benefit from the expertise of an advisor who knows more about the handling of certain trust functions than you may. The benefit of a directed trust is it allows you to retain control while

What Is the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax?

The estate tax gets all the press, but if you are leaving property to a grandchild, there is an additional tax you should know about. The generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax is a tax on property that is passed from a grandparent to a grandchild (or great-grandchild) in a will or trust. The tax is

How an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust Can Be Used to Avoid or Reduce the Estate Tax

With the federal estate tax exemption possibly about to be lowered, it may be time to think about steps you can take to keep your estate from being taxed. An irrevocable life insurance trust allows you to pass on money to your heirs while avoiding both the federal estate tax, as well as any

Court Case Illustrates the Danger of Using an Online Power of Attorney Form

A recent court case involving a power of attorney demonstrates the problem with using online estate planning forms instead of hiring an attorney who can make sure your documents are tailored to your needs. Mercedes Goosley owned a home in Pennsylvania. In 2013, she named one of her six children, Joseph, as her agent under

Can Life Insurance Affect Your Medicaid Eligibility?

When applying for Medicaid many people often forget about life insurance. But depending on the type of life insurance and the value of the policy, it can count as an asset. In order to qualify for Medicaid, you can't have more than $8,000 or $2,400 in assets, depending upon income level. Life insurance policies are

Can an IRA Affect Medicaid Eligibility?

For many Medicaid applicants, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are one of their biggest assets. If you do not plan properly, IRAs can count as an available asset and affect Medicaid eligibility. Medicaid applicants can have only a small amount of assets in order to be eligible to receive benefits ($2,000 in most states). Certain

How an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust Can Be Used to Avoid the Estate Tax

With the federal estate tax exemption possibly about to be lowered, it may be time to think about steps you can take to keep your estate from being taxed. An irrevocable life insurance trust allows you to pass on money to your heirs while avoiding both the federal estate tax, as well as any