Big “Life Changes” Often Mean Big “Estate Plan Changes”

Many people who put together an estate plan do so when they start a family – assuming they put an estate plan together at all during their lifetime. While putting an estate plan together is a good thing to do, many people make few updates once the plan has been created, despite other key life…

Your Fall “Legal Affairs” Checklist

With the fall season approaching, it’s an excellent time to review your affairs. Below is a checklist to ensure your planning meets your needs and is up-to-date: When was your power of attorney last updated? A power of attorney is a valuable legal document, no matter what the circumstance. Not only is it flexible and…

Retirement Planning for Business Owners

For many employees, saving for retirement is usually a matter of simply participating in their employer’s 401(k) plan and perhaps opening an IRA for some extra savings. But, when you’re the owner of a business, planning for retirement requires proactivity and strategy.  It’s not just the dizzying array of choices for retirement accounts, there’s also…

What Happens to Your Student Loan Debt When You Die?

There are two issues many people prefer to avoid thinking about: death and debt. Unfortunately, both of these seems to be inevitable. Student loan debt is a part of life nowadays, particular for students obtaining advanced or professional degrees. As of 2017, the total national student debt is now over $1.4 trillion with college students…

Why Your Estate Planner Needs to Know If You’ve Lent Money to Family

Many children and grandchildren are skipping the traditional bank and obtaining loans from parents or grandparents.  Unfortunately, we have all heard stories of families torn apart because of disagreements over money. So, what can you do to make sure your intra-family loans help – rather than hurt – your family? As far as estate planning…

All you need to know about Estate Planning and the New 2018 Tax Law.

For most people the estate tax hasn’t come into play for many years. Instead of eliminating the estate tax, the estate tax exemption has been raised to $11 million for an individual, and $22 million for a married couple that elects portability. Let’s take a moment to explain how the estate tax exemptions and gift…

Organizing for Tax (and Estate Planning) Season

It’s the start of a new year, which means tax season – and this year’s April 17th IRS filing deadline – is just around the corner. Soon you’ll be receiving tax forms such as your W-2 or 1099s, and you’ll start thinking about the life events that could affect your taxes in various ways. This…

How Does My Annuity Fit Into My Estate Plan?

Selecting the right type of annuity for yourself is no small feat. Of course, you’ve put in the research and planned with your financial advisors. But, you might still be wondering what happens to those annuity payments upon your death. In addition to their benefits as a financial tool for your goals, annuities can have…

Planning for the Future (Without a Crystal Ball)

Creating a will, trust, or any type of estate plan has always involved dealing with an uncertain future. Consider that just 20 years ago in 1997, the estate tax had an astonishing 55% rate with only a $600,000 exemption. Back then, tax-driven estate planning was a mathematical necessity for a large segment of the population….

10 Common Ways Even Brilliant Entrepreneurs Screw Up

If you’re relying on your top line to grow your wealth, you could be missing out on easy opportunities to save money and improve profits, independent of your revenue. Many entrepreneurs waste precious time and money by falling prey to these common mistakes. However, there is no need to sacrifice, work harder, or take on…