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Trust & Estate Administration

Four Provisions People Often Forget to Include in Their 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 a will or estate plan that can have a big impact on a family. Alternate Beneficiaries One of the most important things your estate plan should include is at

How Changes to Portability of the Estate Tax Exemption May Impact You

On July 8, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service issued new guidance that allows a deceased person’s estate to elect “portability” of their unused gift and estate tax exemption for up to five years after their death. So, if your spouse passed away less than five years ago, you may be able to file an estate

The Powers and Responsibilities of Representative Payees

Do you have a friend or loved one who receives Social Security and is unable to manage her payments? If so, you can request that the Social Security Administration (SSA), the government agency that disburses Social Security, name you as the representative payee for that person. Being a representative payee gives you the power and

Is a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust Right For You?

What is a GRAT? Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) ­are a mechanism by which wealthier individuals and couples can transfer appreciating assets to their heirs and minimize gift or estate taxes. High-net-worth individuals and couples can use GRATs to freeze the value of their estates and transfer any increase in the value of their assets

Some Social Security Beneficiaries Can Get Retroactive Payments — But at a Cost

If you need a lot of cash on hand upon retirement, Social Security offers a lump-sum payment option that’s worth six months of benefits. However, it comes at a cost. It is important to understand the details before agreeing to the payment. If you have waited beyond your full retirement age (66 for those born

Children Are Liable For Unpaid Nursing Home Bills Of Parents Even If They Never Got Any Of The Money

Sam, Mary’s son and agent under her power of attorney, didn’t bother to seek legal advice after Mary entered a nursing home.   “She only has $60,000.  There’s nothing we can do”, he told his sisters.  Five months later, with her funds exhausted, Mary sought Medicaid to pay for her care.  To Sam’s shock and dismay

Executors: Were You Caught With Your Pants Down By A Stock Market Crash? Here’s What You Should Have Done

Getting socked with drastic stock market losses is bad enough.  But Executors face the added problem of having to answer to disgruntled beneficiaries.  The current market meltdown illustrates an important point many Executors fail to recognize. An Executor is the person named in a Last Will & Testament who is responsible for distributing a decedent’s

Dynasty Trusts: A Tax-Efficient Way to Pass Wealth Down Through the Generations

If you want to pass money to future generations without having it subject to gift and estate taxes, then a dynasty trust may be right for you. A dynasty trust allows trust assets to be used for the benefit of multiple generations while keeping the assets out of the grantor’s and the beneficiaries’ taxable estates.

The Tax Consequences of Selling a House After the Death of a Spouse

If your spouse dies, you may have to decide whether or when to sell your house. There are some tax considerations that go into that decision. The biggest concern when selling property is capital gains taxes.  A capital gain is the difference between the "basis" in property and its selling price. The basis is the

Using an Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust to Transfer Assets

An intentionally defective grantor trust (IDGT) is a common estate planning tool that is used by wealthy families to transfer assets from one generation to the next while achieving significant tax savings. IDGTs are especially useful if you have assets that will appreciate significantly over time. An IDGT is “intentionally defective” because it purposely