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Are You a Smaller, a Baller, or an Aller?

Whether it happens sooner (perhaps as early as next year) or later (but likely no later than 2026), there’s a good chance we’re going to see a significant drop in the federal estate tax exemption amount. And while there’s some uncertainty around exactly when it will happen, one thing that is certain is that if/when it does, substantially more Americans will be subject to this tax. Such potential changes on the horizon mean that one of the best ways to
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Who Manages Your Money After Death?

In the simplest situations, after your death, you leave your money outright to your spouse if he or she is living. Then, when your spouse passes, they leave the remaining money to your children. This assumes a straightforward family scenario, perhaps with only one marriage involved. Ideally, everyone is experienced with money management, has happy and stable relationships themselves, and there are no major personal issues to worry about. The ideal and uncomplicated situation is rarely the real family dynamic.
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Preparing Your Beneficiaries to Receive Their Inheritance

When you hire an estate planning attorney, you are often looking for help with preparing your accounts and property to ultimately pass smoothly and safely to your loved ones. This is a key component of estate planning. An experienced estate planning attorney will put much thought and effort into ensuring that an appropriate estate plan is created using a variety of legal documents including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives. These important tools can ensure that what
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June Planning Items

Protect your Family with an up to date and complete Estate Plan You’ve packed sunblock and a beach novel. You’ve planned your itinerary and bought plane tickets. But have you ensured that your estate plan is up to date? Don’t leave home without making sure your financial health and the future of your loved ones is provided for. It’s even more crucial than getting a pet sitter and locking the front door. Creating an Estate Plan If you don’t have
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3 Steps to Protect Your Financial Identity

Beginning in 2016, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated every October Nation Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), in an effort to raise awareness of safer online activities. Here are 3 simple steps to protect your financial identity: Prevent Prevent criminals from obtaining confidential information by taking the following steps: Freeze your own Social Security number, plus have others within your span of care (spouse or partner, children, elderly parents) do the same. Store financial documents in a
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When Is It Critical to Review Your Estate Plan, and Why?

Just like other important life tasks, your estate plan deserves your time and attention. It’s important that you work with us to review your estate plan at least once a year. Think of this as your estate plan’s annual physical exam, and remember—prevention is the best cure. An annual exam isn’t necessarily the only time we see a doctor. Similarly, an annual planning meeting isn’t the only time you need to consider your estate plan. The occurrence of special life
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Do You Have a College Student?

Once a child reaches age 18, he or she is an adult by law.  Parents lose the right to learn about their child’s health, tuition bills and even their grades once their child becomes an adult. It can be rather worrisome if your child is miles away and becomes ill or suffers an accident and is hospitalized.  What if they need assistance with a bank account or filing a tax return? These unnecessary worries can be avoided if your child
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Tim Maurer’s Top 10 Personal Finance Books

Tim Maurer was assigned a task: put together a list of his five favorite books from the world of personal finance. He came up with 10. In this video, Maurer, director of advisor development for the BAM ALLIANCE, walks us through his wide-ranging library, which includes books that focus on financial planning, behavioral economics, life planning, and a bonus pair that aren’t necessarily about money but can help change the way you look at money.     The Rent Collector,
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Your Personal Property Memorandum: 4 Tips for Success

What is a personal property memorandum? It is a frequently-used estate planning document that provides an opportunity to expand upon your will or trust. Many wills or trusts simply divide the whole of an estate equally between surviving family members. But, what if you’d prefer a more detailed plan for particular items you want to leave to specific individuals? If you’d like to ensure that specific property or items in your estate are left to certain relatives or friends, a
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Estate Planning Projects to Tackle in the New Year

                As the end of the year approaches and you begin to look back on 2018, what changes need to be reflected in your estate plan? Have you gotten married or divorced in the past year? Perhaps you’ve welcomed a new child or grandchild, or experienced a change in your health. So much can change in a year, and it’s important not to let too much time pass before those changes are reflected
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