The world is an unusual place. Things you’d never expect to happen sometimes actually do happen. There are natural disasters and unusual phenomenon. It’s important to prepare, not just for the unexpected but the eventual. by Steve Hartnett All of us face difficulties and tragedies in our lives. Some of these difficulties are expected and some are unexpected. 2020 has been a year of many unexpected difficulties. While all of us get sick from time to time, nobody anticipated the … [Read more...] about Preparing for the Unexpected…and the Eventual
Planning is important for your income taxation during life as well as for any estate tax at death. Even though 2021 is just starting, it’s not too early to think about planning for whatever it may bring your way. by Steve Hartnett As 2020 draws to a close and a new year dawns, we need to think of…tax planning! Some years Congress tweaks the laws more than other years. While 2020 held plenty of surprises with coronavirus and an election, it was a relatively quiet year for legislative … [Read more...] about Tax Planning for 2021
The holidays are a special time with family and friends. You can take the opportunity to check on elderly loved ones. It’s also a great time to discuss planning. Read on to learn more. by Steve Hartnett The holidays are a special time for friends and family. We gather around the tree recalling past joyful times and we remember loved ones who are no longer with us. While we are gathered is a great time to pull loved ones aside and speak with them about your estate planning. If you’ve … [Read more...] about Getting Together with Family for the Holidays
Capital gains tax is payable any time you realize a gain on the sale or transfer of an asset. This is a fancy way of saying you will pay taxes if you sell an asset that has gone up in value while you owned it. There are two types of capital gains taxes. Long-term capital gains are gains realized on the transfer of an asset you owned for more than a year. Short-term capital gains are due on profits from the sale of assets you held less than a year. Short-term gains are taxed at your … [Read more...] about Do I Pay Capital Gains Taxes on Inherited Assets?
When you’re deciding to whom to leave assets, most people choose their children or other descendants. However, you also need to decide on the “contingent remainder” beneficiary. In other words, who should get your assets if all your other beneficiaries are gone. Read on to learn more about this often-confusing concept. by Steve Hartnett When you’re planning your estate, among other things, you decide who should inherit your assets. You choose your beneficiaries, typically your … [Read more...] about What’s an “Atom Bomb” or “Contingent Remainder” Beneficiary?
There are some common estate planning mistakes that can yield negative consequences for survivors. We are going to look at three of them here. Assuming the State Will Take Care of Everything Some people do not prioritize estate planning because they assume that the state will step in to make sure the assets go to their loved ones. The probate court does provide supervision during intestacy cases, so part of the assumption is correct. However, as for the idea that the assets will automatically … [Read more...] about These Errors Can Tarnish Your Legacy
Planning is important. End-of-year tax planning is one part of that planning. This year you should also consider whether you’ve had any payroll tax withholdings deferred. If your employer deferred those withholdings, you’ll have more money withheld next year than usual. That means you’ll have less money for other things, like IRA contributions. by Steve Hartnett As Autumn arrives, it’s not too early to consider end-of-year planning. Fundamental to end-of-year planning is deciding … [Read more...] about Planning Is Important
When you are contemplating your legacy, you will ask yourself how you can have a positive impact on your loved ones that persists after you are gone. If you have youngsters on your inheritance list, you can potentially give them the gift of a college education. Giving someone the ability to reach their full potential is a very meaningful act. The benefits begin when the young student recognizes the fact that college is in their future. During the preparatory years, they will always have their … [Read more...] about An Overview of 529 College Plans
Most people associate estate planning with a simple will. They have heard of trusts, but they assume that trusts are usually unnecessary, and they are complicated and expensive to create. In reality, there are many different types of trust, and they serve very distinct purposes. Let’s look at some of the reasons why you may want to use a trust instead of a will. Special Needs Planning There are over 60 million people in the United States that have disabilities, and a significant percentage … [Read more...] about Why Do People Use Trusts?
A Health Care Power of Attorney appoints someone to make decisions for you if you’re not able to do so for yourself. An Advance Directive expresses your wishes regarding end-of-life decisions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to have them up-to-date. by Steve Hartnett In the United States alone, the pandemic has infected nearly 7 million people and has killed nearly 200,000 of them. In today’s pandemic, it’s more important than ever to make sure your estate planning … [Read more...] about Staying Current is Especially Important in the Pandemic