Financial Advice for Retirement, Social Security, IRAs and Estate Planning

Heirs & Estate Planning

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understanding-power-of-attorney

A Shrewd Look at the Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is an essential part of an estate plan. You know that from past visits. The POA ensures that someone can manage your estate when you are unable to. Bills can be paid; investments can be managed; and other actions can be taken. Having a document called a power of attorney does […]

protecting-wealth-given-as-gift

Give Wealth and Still Protect It

Many people know why making gifts is part of most estate plans. Yet, they hesitate to make the gifts, because they see potential pitfalls. They fear that the gifts might be spent unwisely or wasted. The donee could squander the assets on gambling, substance abuse, or other activities. Or the wealth could be well-managed for […]

the-great-will-shortage

The Great Will Shortage

Americans put their wills on the backburner in recent years, and it could cost their estates and heirs plenty. The data is clear. In 2004 only 42% of adults had even a basic will, versus 47% in 2000, according to legal publisher Martindale-Hubbell. Other studies have similar results. LegalZoom.com found that only 75% of adults […]

new-family-limited-partnership-rulings

New Family Limited Partnership Rulings

Last year a number of estate planners worried that the IRS and the Tax Court nailed shut the door on family limited partnerships. A recent federal appeals court decision recently made clear the door still is open, and it set some guidelines for the successful use of FLPs. Family limited partnerships have been premier estate […]

shrewd-family-gift-giving

Shrewd Family Gift Giving

Don’t wait until the end of the year to plan gifts to family members. Annual gifts are an important part of many estate plans, but most people don’t handle gifts the best way. Planning gifts now will increase the amount of wealth that is transferred tax-free to your heirs. The goals of gift-giving are to […]

how-to-help-heirs-while-protecting-wealth

How to Help Heirs While Protecting Wealth

Incentive trusts and protective trusts are all the rage. Many people want to be generous with succeeding generations – now or in their wills – but they want some assurance the wealth won’t be wasted. People are concerned that inheriting wealth might reduce an heir’s work ethic. They don’t want the money to disappear in […]

the-time-bomb-in-many-iras

The Time Bomb In Many IRAs

Financial services firms are lagging behind the IRS in making it easier to pass IRA wealth to succeeding generations. Because of this, the key document used in wealth transfer plans frequently is a time bomb. It is neglected or isn’t properly completed. The beneficiary designation form is the key document for passing on wealth held […]

pillars-of-a-great-estate-plan

Five Pillars of A Great Estate Plan

You need an estate plan even if you don’t expect to owe taxes. Even if you expect to owe taxes, tax planning still should not be the focus of your planning. It is more important to decide who should receive the wealth, how much each should receive, when the wealth should be transferred, and how […]

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