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Have you coordinated your payable-on-death accounts with your estate plan?

Payable-on-death (POD) accounts provide a quick, simple and inexpensive way to transfer assets outside of probate. They can be used for bank accounts, certificates of deposit or even brokerage accounts. Setting one up is as easy as providing the bank with a signed POD beneficiary designation form. When you die,…

Time passages: Estate planning through the years

Virtually everyone needs an estate plan, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Even though each person’s situation is unique, general guidelines can be drawn depending on your current stage of life. The early years If you’ve recently embarked on a career, gotten married or both, now is the time to…

Have you considered making direct payments of tuition and medical expenses?

With the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption at $11.58 million for 2020, you may think you don’t have to worry about gift and estate taxes. However, there are no guarantees that estate tax law won’t be revised in the future or that your accumulated assets won’t eventually exceed the…

Parental priorities: How to choose a guardian for your child

If you have minor children, arguably the most important estate planning decision you need to make is choosing a guardian for them should the unthinkable occur. If you haven’t yet made this decision, formalize your choice as soon as possible. When it comes to choosing the best candidate, you probably…

Who needs an estate plan? You do!

Despite what you might think, estate planning isn’t limited to only the rich and famous. In fact, your family is likely to benefit from a comprehensive plan that divides your wealth, protects your well-being and provides a compass for your family’s future. Dividing your wealth Estate planning is often associated…

3 negative outcomes of jointly owning property with a family member

A common estate planning mistake that people make is to own property jointly with an adult child or other family member. True, adding a loved one to the title of your home, bank account or other property can be a simple technique for leaving property to that person without the…

Expanded 529 plans offer unique estate planning benefits

If you’re putting aside money for college or other educational expenses, consider a tax-advantaged 529 savings plan. Also known as “college savings plans,” 529 plans were expanded by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) to cover elementary and secondary school expenses as well. And while these plans are best…

Which Power of Attorney is Right For Your Situation?

What’s the difference between the two types of power of attorney? When drafting your estate plan, you and your attorney must account for what happens to your children and your assets after you die. But your plan must also spell out your wishes for making financial and medical decisions if…

Assets with sentimental value require extra planning

When planning your estate, you’re likely focused on major assets, such as real estate, investments and retirement plans. But it’s also important to “sweat the small stuff” — your tangible personal property. Examples include jewelry, antiques and photographs. These personal items — which often have modest monetary value but significant…

You Have Options when Addressing Life Insurance in your Estate Plan

Life insurance has long provided a source of liquidity to pay estate taxes and other expenses. But, with the estate tax exemption currently set at an inflation-adjusted $10 million ($11.40 million for 2019), estate taxes are no longer a concern for many families. Nonetheless, life insurance offers many benefits for nontaxable estates….