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Expanded 529 plans offer unique estate planning benefits
If you’re putting aside money for college or other educational expenses, consider a tax-advantaged 529 savings plan. Also known as “college savings plans,” 529 plans were expanded by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) to cover elementary and secondary school expenses as well. And while these plans are best known as an educational funding ...

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A poorly worded apportionment clause can upend an estate plan
Federal estate tax liability is no longer an issue for many families, now that the gift and estate tax exemption stands at $11.4 million for 2019. But there are still affluent individuals whose estates may be subject to hefty estate tax bills. If you expect your estate to have significant estate tax liability at your ...

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Understanding the contents of a will
You probably don’t have to be told about the need for a will. But do you know what provisions should be included and what’s best to leave out? The answers to those questions depend on your situation and may depend on state law. Basic provisions Typically, a will begins with an introductory clause, identifying yourself ...

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The U.S. government issues thousands of green cards daily. A green card is a permit that allows foreign nationals to live and work lawfully within the United States. Most importantly, it gives these individuals the opportunity to qualify for U.S. citizenship after a certain amount of time.   For individuals seeking to apply for a  ...

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What’s The Difference Between The Two Types of Power of Attorney?
When drafting your estate plan, you and your attorney must account for what happens to your children and your assets after you die. But your plan must also spell out your wishes for making financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those decisions yourself. A crucial component of this plan is the power ...

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Naming A Trustee May Be One Of The Most Important Decisions Of Your Life
When it comes to estate planning, trusts are appealing for many reasons. They can enable you to hold and transfer assets for beneficiaries, avoid probate and reduce estate tax exposure. But they can be complicated to set up. One of the major decisions you’ll need to make when establishing a trust is who will act ...

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Defensive Asylum Hearing Process in Immigration Court
Generally, individuals seek asylum in the United States to escape specific types of persecution should he or she be forced to return to their homeland. The asylum hearing process varies on whether the foreign national is seeking asylum through an affirmative process or a defensive process. Unlike in an affirmative asylum application, the removal proceedings ...

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A buy-sell agreement can provide the liquidity to cover estate taxes
If you own an interest in a closely held business, it’s critical to have a well-designed, properly funded buy-sell agreement. Without one, an owner’s death can have a negative effect on the surviving owners. If one of your co-owners dies, for example, you may be forced to go into business with his or her family ...

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Thinking about a Roth IRA conversion? Now may be the ideal time
Roth IRAs offer significant estate planning and financial benefits. If you have a substantial balance in a traditional IRA and are considering converting it to a Roth IRA, there may be no better time than now. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced individual income tax rates through 2025. By making the conversion now, ...

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Assets with sentimental value require extra planning
When planning your estate, you’re likely focused on major assets, such as real estate, investments and retirement plans. But it’s also important to “sweat the small stuff” — your tangible personal property. Examples include jewelry, antiques and photographs. These personal items — which often have modest monetary value but significant sentimental value — may be ...

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Understanding The Bond Hearing Process In Immigration Court
A person who is detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may be eligible for release upon payment of a bond. A bond is an amount of money paid as collateral for the release of a person from custody. The bond guarantees the court that the person will appear for upcoming court proceedings. If the ...

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4 negative outcomes of jointly owning property with a family member
A common estate planning mistake that people make is to own property jointly with an adult child or other family member. True, adding a loved one to the title of your home, bank account or other property can be a simple technique for leaving property to that person without the need for probate. But any ...

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A divorce necessitates an estate plan review
If you’re divorcing, it’s important to review your estate plan as early as possible, for two reasons: First, you may wish to revise your plan immediately to prevent your spouse from inheriting or gaining control over your assets if you die or become incapacitated before the divorce is final. Second, although a divorce judgment or ...

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Ease itemized deduction limitations using a nongrantor trust
The record-high exemption amount currently in effect means that fewer families are affected by gift and estate taxes. As a result, the estate planning focus for many people has shifted from transfer taxes to income taxes. A nongrantor trust can be an effective option to reduce income taxes, and it offers a way around the ...

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You have options when addressing life insurance in your estate plan
Life insurance has long provided a source of liquidity to pay estate taxes and other expenses. But, with the estate tax exemption currently set at an inflation-adjusted $10 million ($11.40 million for 2019), estate taxes are no longer a concern for many families. Nonetheless, life insurance offers many benefits for nontaxable estates. If you own life insurance ...

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