The health and safety of our clients, staff, and friends of the law firm are top of mind amid concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As estate planning and elder law attorneys, our practice is dedicated to serving our most vulnerable citizens, including seniors, those who are ill, disabled, experiencing mental health challenges and children with special needs. The uncertainty around the pandemic has many people with immune system challenges concerned about exposure to the … [Read more...] about Our Available Services During COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic
Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of our clients were already assisting elderly or disabled family member and friends with such things as meals, medications, medical visits and shopping. Regular visits just to check in were also part of many folks’ normal routines. COVID-19 restrictions have had a large negative impact on many of these activities. So, how can you continue to assist under these new circumstances? Here are a few thoughts: Medical Issues Under a federal … [Read more...] about Assisting Family and Friends During These Trying Times
In previous newsletters, we have discussed both so-called “529 accounts”, which are a type of tax-efficient education savings accounts and ABLE accounts, which are a relatively new type of account that can be established to provide additional resources for persons receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. While each account is for a different purpose, they do share some similar features. Due to a recent law change, it is now possible to make limited transfers from existing 529 … [Read more...] about Interaction between Education Savings (“529”) Accounts and ABLE Accounts
The most significant action of Congress in 2019 relating to retirement and estate planning was the late December passage of the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019”, commonly known as the “Secure Act”. It was signed into law shortly thereafter and is effective January 1, 2020, for most purposes. In this and future newsletters, we will look into the provisions of the Secure Act and also some strategies to maximize benefits and minimize problems created by this … [Read more...] about CONGRESS PASSES THE SECURE ACT: HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOU?
What are the tax implications of an inheriting an IRA? The answer depends on several factors: Is it a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA? The funds in a traditional IRA have never been taxed and will be taxed as they are withdrawn. Roth IRAs contain post-tax dollars and are not again taxed upon their withdrawal. Is the beneficiary of the IRA a spouse, a non-spouse person, or a charity? When the beneficiary of an IRA is the spouse of the IRA owner, the spouse will have a number of … [Read more...] about Ins and Outs of Inheriting an IRA
An estate plan is an important part of one’s plan for the future. Many realize that they need the assistance of an experienced and qualified attorney to assist them in their efforts. Unfortunately, some folks will cut corners in their estate planning efforts in an effort to save a few bucks or because they think they are as smart as or smarter than their estate planning lawyer when it comes to drafting documents or both. Even with persons who were prudent enough to have their original plans … [Read more...] about Where Do It Yourself = Do It Wrong
We are often asked by prospective clients: “Do I need an estate plan?” This is particularly the case for folks under 40 or 50, who just can’t imagine themselves dead or incapacitated. We are also often asked about planning by our clients who have adult children with assets and children of their own. As we all know, we can't and don’t know the future. Should a premature death or disability occur due to an unexpected injury or illness, having an appropriate plan in place will reduce needless … [Read more...] about Do I Need an Estate Plan? I’m Not That Old
Procrastination is a big problem when it comes to estate planning, and this is really rather hard to understand. Even when you are a young adult who is somewhat immature, when an older person starts to explain financial realities, you can't help but take notice. People find it easy to recognize the need to position their assets wisely throughout their lives, but the same people tend to place estate planning into another category. These are not necessarily people who are extremely selfish; … [Read more...] about There Is More to Estate Planning Than Wills and Trusts
Experts tell us that we are on the verge of the greatest transfer of wealth the United States has ever seen. If you are on the gifting end of those transfers you need to consider the question “Will your beneficiaries blow their inheritance?” Unfortunately, experts also estimate that at least one-third of the recipients of the coming wealth transfer will indeed do just that – blow their inheritance. What can you do to protect the inheritance you leave behind? The single most important step you … [Read more...] about Protecting Your Beneficiaries . . . From Themselves
You can look at estate planning in a number of different ways. There is the bare-bones approach when you simply try to protect your family in the easiest way possible, and a basic estate plan is certainly better than no estate plan at all. On the other hand, you could take a more comprehensive approach and engage in the process of legacy planning. When you plan your legacy, you proactively take steps to leave behind a positive influence that will resonate even after you are gone. Legacy … [Read more...] about Have You Contemplated Your Legacy?