The federal estate tax is not a factor for most people because there is an exclusion that is pretty high relative to most estates. This is a set amount that can be transferred tax-free -- the tax is only levied on any portion of an estate that exceeds it. There are annual adjustments to account for inflation, and we have experienced a significant level of inflation this year. The 2022 exclusion amount has been announced, and we will take a look at it here. 2022 Federal Estate Tax … [Read more...] about 2022 Estate Tax Exclusion Has Been Set
There was some good news to share about the Social Security cost of living adjustment for 2022, but out-of-pocket Medicare costs are another matter. The program has release the parameters for the new year, and we will take a look at them here. Medicare Part A The portion of the program that covers hospitalization is Medicare Part A. There is no premium unless you have not earned eligibility and you want to pay for this coverage. However, beneficiaries are required to pay a deductible per … [Read more...] about An Overview of 2022 Medicare Cost Increases
There are few things that are more appalling than the idea of someone taking advantage of senior citizens. As abhorrent as it may be, elder financial abuse is very common, and you should understand the facts so you can take preventative measures. Massive Losses A MetLife Mature Market Institute Study published in 2009 got a lot of attention because it focused on the previously ignored subject of elder financial abuse. The groundbreaking research placed an estimate of annual losses at $2.6 … [Read more...] about Elder Financial Abuse Is a Looming Threat
There are different ways to arrange for the transfer of property ownership when you are planning your estate. You should be aware of your options, and you should weigh the potential negatives that go along with some courses of action that sound promising on the surface. With this in mind, we will look at the device called a life estate in this post. Estate Administration and Probate Some background information is important to understand why people use life estates, and probate is at the … [Read more...] about What Is the Purpose of a Life Estate?
When you are planning for retirement, you may consider moving to another state for one reason or another. If you are making this decision, you should certainly take taxation into consideration, and there are some potentially significant taxes that you may overlook. State Income Taxes on Retirement Income In most states, you have to pay state-level income taxes on pension payments and 401(k) and individual retirement account income. However, there are nine states that do not have state-level … [Read more...] about Will You Pay Taxes on Retirement Income?
You may have heard about the estate plans of some very wealthy, high-profile people that pampered their pets. Leona Helmsley was a billionaire that was known as the “Queen of Mean” because of her dismissive attitude and crude statements. She may not have been very nice to some humans, but she certainly had a soft spot for her Maltese, Trouble. Helmsley reportedly established a trust fund for the dog that was funded with $12 million. That made Trouble the wealthiest dog in the world, right? … [Read more...] about You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Create a Pet Trust
An estate plan should be comprehensive in nature, and many people do not take the time to learn about the components that should be included. With this in mind, we will look at the specific documents that should be part of the plan. Living Trust A lot of people assume that you should use a will to facilitate asset transfers. In reality, though, for many people a living trust should be at the core of their estate plans. When you have a revocable living trust, you are taking a holistic … [Read more...] about Are These Documents Included in Your Estate Plan?
If you were sitting next to an estate planning lawyer on an airplane and you had a chance to pick the lawyer's brain, what would you ask? It would definitely be an enlightening conversation, and we will present a hypothetical give-and-take here to pass along some valuable information. Why is estate planning important? You would die intestate if you pass away without any estate planning documents. The probate court would step in to sort things out, and the court would appoint a personal … [Read more...] about A Conversation With an Estate Planning Lawyer
It is a good feeling to get away and spend time at your vacation home if you are fortune enough to have an additional piece of property out-of-state. You can make memories with your family and friends, and real estate can be a good investment. When you are planning your estate, you should be aware of the potential for ancillary probate if you are in this position, and we will examine the subject here. Estate Administration Probate is a process that serves a purpose when an estate is being … [Read more...] about Avoid Ancillary Probate With a Living Trust
There are some terms used in the estate planning realm that may be unfamiliar to many people. One of them is “fiduciary,” and we will demystify the term in this post. Legal Responsibility A fiduciary is someone who has a special legal responsibility to someone else, or multiple people. The fiduciary must put the interests of those individuals first, and they are legally bound to do so. Executor of an Estate One prime example of a fiduciary is the executor of an estate. If you use a will to … [Read more...] about What Is a Fiduciary in Estate Planning?