The Harmonious Family that Won’t Fight?  The Outcome May Surprise You

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Most families are happy families. They get together for the holidays, share laughs, and tell stories. Everyone gets along and enjoys each other’s company. Then, the matriarch or patriarch dies. Suddenly, years of pent-up resentment and hurt feelings bubble to the surface, and the once-happy family is now embroiled in litigation over the decedent’s estate. When everyone is alive and …

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Stress Test Your Estate Plan

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So you have done the hard work of establishing an estate plan. Good for you! However, you still have serious work to do to ensure that the strategy you have selected will maximize your peace of mind and protect your legacy. Estate plans should be like living, breathing creations that reflect the changes in your life. Your life can and …

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Is Your Estate Plan as Stale as Last Week’s Ham Sandwich? 5 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan

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Estate plans are almost magical: They allow you to maintain control of your assets, yet protect you should you become incapacitated. They take care of your family and pets. And, if carefully crafted, they reduce fees, taxes, stress, and time delays. Estate plans can even keep your family and financial affairs private. But one thing estate plans can’t do is …

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How to Own Your Real Estate

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Real estate encompasses not only one’s primary residence but also other real estate such as a vacation home or a rental property. The ideal form of ownership varies depending on the type of real estate you own. Below, we take a look at the different types of real estate and offer advice about the best form of ownership for each. …

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How to Minimize the (Voluntary) Federal Estate Tax with Portability

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Surprising to most people, the federal estate tax is a voluntary tax. Estate planning attorneys used to say, “You only pay if you don’t plan.” Now, portability of the federal estate tax exclusion provides both an alternative and a back up plan to lifetime tax planning. This means you might be able to minimize or even eliminate federal estate taxes …

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Just Like You Need a Medical Checkup, Your Estate Plan Needs a Checkup!

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Whether or not you currently have estate planning documents, one important item to add to your calendar is getting an estate plan checkup. Don’t Have an Estate Plan?  If you don’t already have an estate plan, then getting one in place should be at the top of your to-do list. Why?  Because without an estate plan, you and your property …

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The Trust Protection Myth: Your Revocable Trust Protects Against Lawsuits

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The Trust Protection Myth: Your Revocable Trust Protects Against Lawsuits Many people believe that once they set up a Revocable Living Trust and transfer assets into the trust, those assets are protected from lawsuits. This is absolutely not true. While Trusts commonly provide asset protection for beneficiaries, few trusts protect assets owned by the person who created the trust. No …

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Strategies for Your Charitable Planning 

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There are many reasons why you may want to give to a charity: You may give because you believe strongly in a cause or organization, but it can also reduce your yearly income tax bill and remove value from your overall estate. If you are considering making a donation, but are unsure of how to proceed, we are here to …

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Life Insurance and Estate Planning: Protecting Your Beneficiaries’ Interests

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A common misconception people have about life insurance is that they only need to designate their spouse, child, or loved one as the beneficiary of the policy to ensure that the life insurance benefits will be available to the beneficiary when they die. Life insurance is an important financial and estate planning tool, but without certain protections in place, there …

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3 Asset Protection Tips You Can Use Now

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A common misconception is that only wealthy families and people in high risk professions need to have an asset protection plan. But in reality, anyone can be sued. A car accident, foreclosure, unpaid medical bills, or an injured tenant can result in a monetary judgment that will decimate your finances. What Exactly Is Asset Protection Planning? Asset protection planning is …

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HIPAA: An Overview for Young Adults

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The Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was enacted to provide guidelines to the healthcare industry for protecting patient information and privacy. For minors, this is a non-issue because parents, as legal guardians, have access to their children’s medical information and are the ones making most of the medical decisions, as well as paying the expenses. …

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It’s Planning Season

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For each season, there is planning that you must do on the farm. In order to be successful, this planning must be done thoughtfully and in advance. Your life is no different. To properly plan for the next season in your life and the lives of your family, a well-executed estate plan is a must. Below are a few documents …

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