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 1,000 Americans and revealed interesting results, which were published in a CNBC article titled “Retirement plan workaround: Inherit enough to live on.”


It turns out that nearly half of working Americans surveyed expect to receive an inheritance large enough to meet their living expenses in retirement.


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 a large sum of money to an adult child in need. They often wonder if they can do so without having to pay tax on the gifts.



Bad Grandma!

MP900427846We 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 become the trustee of that inheritance.


She then proceeded to waste the entire inheritance on her own frivolous expenses, including alcohol and tobacco.


The granddaughter won a judgment against Coleman a couple of years ago, and now Coleman will face criminal charges for her theft.


Do Not Wait to Say Your Last Words

Th (2)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 last words, we tend to think of some dramatic utterances made while someone is on his or her death bed. However, whatever a person might say in that situation is not the last thing that we will hear from him or her.


Minnesota to Cut Estate Tax?

Pad of Paper & PenThe 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 scheduled to be increased to $2 million in 2018. Under a series of proposed tax cuts, state Republican lawmakers are expected to pass legislation that would raise the estate tax exemption to $2 million immediately and gradually raise it to $5 million by 2018.


While Democrats oppose this legislation it appears that it has the votes to pass. (more…)

Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples

MP900399669The 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 in those states. However, many other states have not done so and same sex couples in those states need to provide for each other in carefully crafted estate plans.


The Moon and the Estate Tax

Dark-half-moon-moon-761-481x350When 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 he recently addressed the estate tax.


Maher took on the claim that the estate tax hurts small farmers.


Leaving Your Friends a Few Drinks


Sometimes it is the littlest things that you do in your estate plan that create the most lasting memories. This might be the case in England where one man left his drinking buddies money to have drinks on him.


Roger Brown of Swansea, England had visited the same pub for over 40 years and drank there with the same group of people.


Reasons to Repeal the Estate Tax

MP900411753Repealing the estate tax is a controversial subject both inside and outside of Washington D.C. Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives did vote to repeal the tax, but the matter must still meet Senate and Presidential approval.

With the U.S. House of Representatives recently voting to repeal the estate tax, the issue now will go before the Senate for approval. If it passes there, then President Obama will need to decide whether to veto the legislation or not.


Many people wonder why the estate tax would be repealed and why there is so much controversy surrounding the matter.


Forbes recently published a list of reasons why the estate tax should be repealed in an article aptly titled “Top Ten Reasons The U.S. House Will Kill the Death Tax.” (more…)

Heir Alleged to Have Blown $3.5M


Many trusts are designed so that a beneficiary receives trust income during his or her lifetime with the remainder of the trust going to someone else after the heir passes away. These trusts often cause disputes between the beneficiary and the remainderman, illustrated in a high profile New York case.

Irving Bender became the beneficiary of a trust created by a New York real estate mogul. Under the terms of the trust, Bender was supposed to use trust assets during his lifetime but retain his normal and usual standard of living. The remainder of the trust was to go to United Jewish Appeal.