Category Archives: Estate Planning

Mortgage Payment Calculator – Home Loan Calculator

Before buying a dream home, it is better to consider whether the mortgage rates will be affordable by you. Home loan calculator is used by many US financial institutions to calculate mortgages so that their home loan calculations will be correct and accurate. Hence, for buying a home in US using a mortgage payment calculator is a quick and easy method. HomeFellas.com is providing information about the advanced mortgage payment calculator... To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Book Review: "Philanthropy Heirs & Values"

"Philanthropy Heirs & Values" written by Roy Williams and Vic Preisser discusses how to help heirs learn money principles during their growing up years so that they can wisely handle their inheritance once parents have died. The book is geared towards more wealthy individuals, but I think the principles they talk about could be used by any family to learn sound money skills and the joy of philanthropy. Briefly, the authors discuss three general skills children need to learn: values, mission, and accountability. The authors further discuss how these three skills should be taught to children during five developmental periods of a childs life. The five developmental periods are: Age 5 – 10 Awakening Years, discovering one's personal influence. Age 11-15 Exploring Years, discovering self in the midst of change. Age 16-20 Developing Years, understanding accountability. Age 21-30 Applying Years, maximizing the value of contributions. Beyond 30 Mentoring Years, unifying the family through Philanthropy. You can find "Philanthropy Heirs & Values" here... To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Figuring Equations That Retirement Calculators Don't Calculate

By Julian Guilfoyle "The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it's at what income." -George Foreman For those who would like to get a gauge of where they stand in retirement planning, free online calculators are available at the ready online. In an article titled "6 Things Retirement Calculators Get Wrong" author Mark Miller cites a recent study by the Society of Actuaries that concluded among other findings, "many popular calculators have serious flaws". The report looked into online calculators created by institutions ranging from financial firms like Fidelity and MetLife to government agencies like the U.S. Department of Labor. While the article lists six areas where these calculators fall short, I found several especially troublesome. Social Security Projections John Turner, economist and co-author of the report has two fundamental issues with the way the calculators project social security benefits. He critiques, "They [the online tools] don't ask you to consider a lot of important variables" and that the calculators "low-ball" the increases recipients receive for the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). My Thoughts Depending where one is on the path to retirement, relying too heavily on social security, especially in its' present form, is shortsighted at best. For baby boomers I'm not so sure low-balling future increases is a bad idea either, especially considering social security recipients have not received a COLA since January of 2009. Life Expectancy Kirk Kreikemeier, a financial advisor who served as an advisor for the study remarks, "The probability that one [spouse] will live beyond the average is pretty high". In addition, when these sites automatically input life expectancy figures, variables such as race and genetics, which are crucial to measuring longevity, are ignored. My Thoughts While no one has a crystal ball to determine when the end will come, it's obviously better to be safe than sorry. Perfect retirement planning that does not take into account the advances in medicine and increases in life expectancy will turn the potential of an inheritance into a shortfall of assets. Spouses The article states, "Few of the free calculators helped couples forecast retirement income for a surviving spouse". The author continues, "When the calculators recommended annuities for retirement income (most didn't), none suggested buying one with a survivor's benefit." My Thoughts The failure to include preparations for the surviving spouse can have severe repercussions on several fronts. If the spouse is not left with adequate income, they will need to access assets earlier than planned. If these assets are converted into income streams, potential for growth may be sacrificed as well. Retirement is a cause of concern for many Americans and rightly so. At arguably their most vulnerable stage in life, when many are living off fixed incomes, key missteps in planning can be financially devastating. Get your legal and financial houses in order and enjoy the ride into the sunset... To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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IRS published new Estate Tax Return Form (706) and Instructions

The IRS has published a new revision of the estate taxreturn form (Form 706) to be used for decedents dying in 2011. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f706.pdf. For decedents dying in 2011, Form 706 must be filed by theexecutor for the estate of every U.S. citizen or resident: Whose gross estate, plus adjusted taxablegifts and specific exemption, is more than $5,000,000; or, Whose executor wants to make by the electionto permit the decedent's surviving spouse to use the decedent's unusedexclusion amount, regardless of the size of the decedent's gross estate. The applicable exclusion for decedent's dying in 2011 consistsof a basic exclusion amount of $5,000,000 and the unused exclusion amount of apredeceased spouse (who died after December 31, 2010). This means that even ifyou determine filing a return for the estate is not required, you nonethelessshould file a return if you intend to elect to allow the decedent's survivingspouse to use the decedent's unused exclusion amount for estate and gift taxpurposes. A timely and completeForm 706 filed for the predeceased spouse's estate is required, even if thereis no tax due, to allow the surviving spouse to use the last predeceasedspouse's unused exclusion (DSUE) amount. Note that the Form 706 filing due date is 9 months after the date of the decedents death, which means it falls in October 2011 for decedents who died in January 2011. If you are unable to file Form 706 by the due date, you may file for an extension of the time to file. Use IRS Form 4768 to apply for an extension. Upon the later death of the survivor spouse, his or herexecutor will be required to attach a copy of the Form 706 filed in the estateof the predeceased spouse along with a calculation of the DSUE in order toclaim the first spouse's unused exclusion amount. The DSUE portability provisions are found at 26U.S.C. Section 2010 (c)(4). Under the Tax Relief Act of 2010 they apply todecedents dying in 2011 and 2012. They create a significant trap for the unwaryexecutor. See my earlier posts for moreinformation on portability: Estateand Gift Tax Portability Law Creates some Unconventional Planning Opportunities PortabilityProvision of Estate Tax law may be "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing".. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Weight Loss Drug Changes Label to Reflect Liver Injury Risk

Read more detail on Recent Estate Planning Posts – .. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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