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There are many schools of thoughts on the use of Revocable Trusts, also know as Living Trusts or Grantor Trusts. Some attorneys love them as a way to avoid probate; others, including myself, are more hesitant to recommend them. My hesitancy in using them stems from the fact that in New Jersey...
In many jurisdictions, estate planning for same sex couples can be quite complex. In some states, the laws are favorable to non-traditional couples and in others, they are not (like Pennsylvania). There are also states like New Jersey, where the laws themselves can be favorable to same sex couples...
One of the biggest misconceptions people have about life insurance is how it should be taxed. Most people think that they can receive the proceeds completely tax free. Upon the death of the insured, the beneficiary of a policy can always receive the proceeds from of income tax. However, estate...
I was talking with a colleague the other day regarding a trust that he manages for a rather difficult benefiary. The trust is rather small in terms of overall dollars, but he advised me that it consumes a great deal of his time because the beneficiary calls hundreds of times a year - begging for...
I've been remiss in not writing very much lately, but I do need to advise everyone that starting January 1, 2012, the federal estate tax exemption is actually going to increase from $5,000,000 to $5,120,000 due to adjustments for the cost of living. The federal estate tax rate remains constant at...
I was talking to an elder care coach that I know by the name of Thomas P. Callahan, of A.F.I. Coaching and Consulting, and we started talking about our holiday plans. One interesting item that came up was how busy he tends to get right after the holidays. During this time of year, children return...
When a person dies, the surviving spouse can receive all of the decedent's money free of tax, but only if the surviving spouse is a citizen of America. If the surviving spouse is not a U.S. citizen, anything over the estate tax exemption amount is subject to an estate tax. One way to avoid paying...
Effective October 1, 2011, a new law went into effect dramatically changing the Florida Power of Attorney Statute. A Power of Attorney is a writing in which one party grants authority to an agent to act in place of the principal; each act performed by the agent pursuant to the power of attorney has...
I was speaking with a colleague of mine the other day and the subject of college loans came up. It occurred to us that with the new stricter lending regime, it is probably more important than ever for a parent to consider getting life insurance on a child of theirs if they are co-signing a college...
It's way too early to know if President Obama's Deficit Reduction Package will have any traction, but I did want to point out that under his proposal, the federal estate tax exemption would be reduced from the current level of $5,000,000 per person to $3,000,000 per person starting in January of...