Business and Avoiding Probate Problems

Small and family business owners have heard many nightmares about similar businesses that have had problems with probate. Many of the stories are true. However, with careful planning most of the problems associated with probate can be avoided.   Business owners normally fear probate because of the numerous nightmare stories they have heard about it. […]

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Why Gifting Might Be Better than Leaving an Inheritance

Many wealthy Americans wonder whether they should give money to their heirs during their lifetimes or leave it as an inheritance. There are many aspects to the decision. However, if taxes are a concern, then it might be better to give the money now than to leave an inheritance.   Some people struggle over whether […]

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Would You Choose Cousin Vinny to Be the Guardian of Your Kids?

Estate planning is a key element in any financial plan no matter what your age. Estate planning allows you to decide how your assets should be distributed upon your death. In essence it allows control from the grave! And a word of advice to those under 50, dying does not just happen to old people. […]

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Counting on an Inheritance to Retire

A new survey suggests that many Americans are counting on receiving an inheritance to retire on instead of saving enough for retirement themselves. This has the potential to create disasters for several reasons.   Recently, CNBC published the results of an inheritance survey about the retirement plans of people from several nations. The survey included […]

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Gift Tax Basics

People who want to give a large amount of money to another person often have questions about how much they can give without having to pay taxes on the gift. Fortunately, the gift tax is relatively simple once you know the basics.   Many parents find themselves in a position where they want to give […]

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Bad Grandma!

We usually think that we can trust our relatives, especially our grandparents. However, a recent story out of Wisconsin details how one grandmother lied and stole her granddaughter’s inheritance.   When Betty Coleman’s ex-husband passed away, he left a $50,000 inheritance for their granddaughter. Coleman lied in court about her criminal past so she could […]

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Do Not Wait to Say Your Last Words

In a very real sense your estate plan is your last words. After you pass away, it will be the last thing that people hear from you. However, most Americans put off making an estate plan as long as they can if they ever create one at all.   When we think of a person’s […]

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Minnesota to Cut Estate Tax?

The estate tax is not only a hot button issue in national politics, it also plays an important role in the politics of many states. One such state is Minnesota where it appears that the estate tax might be cut earlier than previously expected.   Currently Minnesota’s estate tax exemption is $1.4 million and is […]

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Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples

The United States Supreme Court is considering the issue of same sex marriage. Regardless of how the case turns out, same sex couples should proceed to create estate plans. In fact, they should not wait for the Court’s decision.   Many states have legalized same sex marriage, which gives same sex couples equal inheritance rights […]

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The Moon and the Estate Tax

When thinking about the estate tax, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not the moon. However, one pundit, made an interesting connection between the two.   Bill Maher is a well-known liberal pundit who is often at the center of controversy over his statements. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that […]

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