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Add Spendthrift Language to a Trust to Safeguard Assets
  Protecting assets from creditors is a critical aspect of estate planning, but you need to think about more than just your own creditors: You also need to consider your heirs’ creditors. Adding spendthrift language to a trust benefiting your heirs can help safeguard assets. Spendthrift Language Explained Despite its name, the purpose of a ...

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Properly Funding Your Revocable Trust is the Key to Unlocking its Benefits
If your estate plan includes a revocable trust — also known as a “living” trust — it’s critical to ensure that the trust is properly funded. Revocable trusts offer significant benefits, including asset management (in the event you become incapacitated) and probate avoidance. But these benefits aren’t available if you don’t fund the trust. Funding ...

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What You Need to Know About Filing Gift and Estate Tax Returns
Have you made substantial gifts of wealth to family members? Or are you the executor of the estate of a loved one who died recently? If so, you need to know whether you must file a gift or estate tax return.   Filing a Gift Tax Return   Generally, a federal gift tax return (Form ...

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Building an On-Off Switch Into Your Estate Plan
The right estate planning strategy for you likely is the one that will produce the greatest tax savings for your family. Unfortunately, there can be tension between strategies that save estate tax and ones that save income tax. This is especially true now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubled the gift and ...

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An ESOP Can Benefit a Business Owner’s Retirement and Estate Plans
Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) offer closely held business owners an exit strategy and a tax-efficient technique for sharing equity with employees. But did you know that an ESOP can be a powerful estate planning tool? It can help you address several planning challenges, including lack of liquidity and the need to provide for children ...

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Hastily Choosing an Executor Can Lead to Problems After Your Death
Choosing the right executor — sometimes known as a “personal representative” — is critical to the smooth administration of an estate. Yet many people treat this decision as an afterthought. Given an executor’s many responsibilities and complex tasks, it pays to put some thought into the selection. Job Description An executor’s duties may include: Collecting, ...

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Often times, individuals do not become permanent residents until much later in life. This often occurs when adult United States citizen children who are over twenty-one filing a petition on behalf of their much older non-citizen parent. As a result, many of these parents are not fluent in the English language and find it very ...

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Have You Had Your Annual Estate Plan Checkup?
An annual estate plan checkup is critical to the health of your estate plan. Because various exclusion, exemption and deduction amounts are adjusted for inflation, they can change from year to year, impacting your plan. 2019 vs. 2018 Amounts Here are a few key figures for 2018 and 2019: Lifetime Gift and Estate Tax Exemption ...

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For spouses of U.S. citizens who have been granted conditional permanent residence status for a period of two years, you will need to file form I-751 to remove the conditional status during the 90 days before your second anniversary as a conditional resident. Unfortunately, like most other USCIS applications, there is a considerable backlog and ...

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If You’re Driven to Transfer a Vehicle’s Ownership to a Trust, Know the Risks
A revocable trust — often referred to as a “living trust” — can help ensure smooth management of your assets during life and avoid probate at death. And you may know that the trust isn’t effective unless you “fund” it — that is, transfer ownership of your assets to the trust. But what about assets ...

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Estate Planning Lite: College-Aged Children Need a Basic Estate Plan
If your son or daughter currently is home from college on winter break, now is a good time to sit down and discuss a few estate planning documents he or she should have at this stage of life. Let’s take a closer look at four such documents: Health care power of attorney. With a health ...

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“The whole world is a court case…and we’re all…defendants” ~ Emma Chase Heidi Clark inherited an IRA from her mother.  She then ran into financial difficulties and filed for bankruptcy protection claiming that the IRA was protected under applicable bankruptcy laws as “retirement account.”  The bankruptcy trustee challenged this characterization – and won, which was ...

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A Prenup or a DAPT: Which is the Better Choice?
If you or one of your adult children is getting married, you may be concerned about protecting your family’s assets in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can be an effective tool for overriding marital property rights and keeping assets in the family. But these agreements have disadvantages. For many families, a better ...

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DIY LOUISIANA WILL EXECUTION BACKFIRES (Notary Stamp Completely Invalidates Will)
“The views expressed by Me are in no way endorsed by CBS any of its allied companies or in fact Me.” ~Craig Ferguson Ms. Sandra Dale lived in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana.  She loved East Feliciana Parish so much that she named her first born, Felicia Dale.  Sandra later had two more children, namely Christopher Dale and ...

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How Incomplete Nongrantor Trusts Can Help Avoid State Income Taxes
With the federal gift and estate tax exemption at $11.40 million for 2019, people whose estates are below the exemption amount are shifting their focus to income tax reduction. High-income taxpayers — particularly those who live in high-income-tax states — may want to consider incomplete nongrantor trusts, which make it possible to eliminate state taxes on ...

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