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March 2017 Archives

How can I increase my non-taxable gifts each year?

One of the most frustrating things about trying to spread around your good fortune to the ones you love is the relatively low ceiling on non-taxable giving. If you've been a little too generous before, you know just how infuriating this can be. You just want to give something good to someone you love, and end up giving them a bit of a double edged sword — a generous gift with a tax burden waiting on the other end. Fortunately, with little bit of planning, you significantly expand your ability to give without creating a ta dilemma.

What happens to my mortgage if I die?

After a person passes away, there are many things that must be handled with great care to avoid unnecessary disruption to the lives of those who survive the decedent. Administering an estate can be a complex matter, especially even if the decedent had created an estate plan prior to his or her death. For those affected by the estate settlement, a generous gift can become a burden if the details are not clearly understood as the estate is administered. This can be especially true when it comes to passing on a home with an outstanding mortgage balance.

Should you have more than one health care agent?

The threat of serious illness or injury looms over everyone. Even if you adhere to a relatively healthy lifestyle, you could still find yourself in a situation that results in your incapacitation. Whether the issue stems from a degenerative mental disorder, physical illness or serious injuries due to an accident, you could end up in a predicament where you cannot adequately make necessary health-related decisions for yourself.

Do young people need an estate plan?

Many young people believe that they simply do not need to make an estate plan, or that estate planning is for older people. The truth of the matter is that estate planning can be helpful for anyone who wishes to dictate how their assets are distributed after their death, or simply create a plan for you can make end-of-life decisions if the unthinkable happens. While many young do not often think that they may die before reaching old age, nearly everyone knows one or two individuals who passed away before their time.

What are the tax benefits of a charitable trust?

Many people find, as they accumulate a significant estate, that they become more and more interested in exploring their options for including charitable giving in their estate plan. One of the most versatile and useful forms of charitable giving in estate planning is funding a charitable trust with some of your assets. While the specifics will vary according to your circumstances and desires for the trust, charitable trusts are not only a great way to leave your impact on a cause you care for, they also provide some excellent tax advantages.

Do I need a will if I don't own much?

Often, those who are young or do not have many material possessions fall prey to the incorrect assumption that they do no t need a will. However, this is a faulty approach to will-creation. Not only does a will govern how your estate will be distributed (however modest it may be), it also can declare your wishes for a number of very personal decisions.