Articles Tagged with Madison Estate Planning Attorney

image-1-300x146“In March 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that by 2030, all baby boomers will be over the age of 65, leading to a unique situation in demographics: 20% of U.S. residents will be at retirement age.”

Part of the increase in the number of people who live long enough to be of retirement age, is because life expectancies have increased. The average U.S. life expectancy has increased from 68 years in 1950 to 79 years in 2013, according to the Population Reference Bureau cited in an article from U.S. News & World Report titled “How Should I Finance Assisted Living?”

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pexels-photo-1028726-300x200“When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went into effect, many clients and advisors assumed that their days of worrying about the estate tax were largely over. Not so fast.”

The big news was that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the federal estate tax exemption to $11.18 million per person (and $22.36 million per couple, with portability). This enormous exemption increase gave many Americans who are in the highest of all tax brackets a reason to cheer. However, in reality, few wealthy Americans ever pay the tax. However, according to “Beware the Estate Tax Cliff,” an article appearing in Wealth Management, it’s not all good news. Continue reading

architecture-buildings-business-331990-1-300x200“What will happen, if you die without leaving a will? It is probably the last thing you want: Instead of you deciding who gets your small business, the government decides.”

Every state has its own rules about how assets are distributed after someone dies, and what happens when the person has not created as will. This is also known as dying “intestate.” If you need a reason to finally get your will done, or to take care of an outstanding legal matter, the article “Head off a small-business skirmish: Draw up your will or estate plan today” from KREM.com should get you started. Continue reading

bigstock-Extended-Family-Outside-Modern-13915094-300x200“Although we typically associate the term “estate” with the ultra-wealthy, estate planning is not just for the rich. Everyone, regardless of family dynamics or financial status, can benefit from having an estate plan—a collection of documents that specify how you want your assets distributed.”

Estate planning has a purpose while you are alive, with medical directives and power of attorney, as well as when you have passed. That is something most people don’t understand. As described in a recent article in Forbes, “6 Reasons Why You Need an Estate Plan,” most people continue to neglect to put a plan in place. A recent survey from caring.com found that less than half of American adults have estate planning documents, such as a will or a trust. Here are a few reasons why that’s a big mistake: Continue reading

accessory-adult-aged-1251174-300x251“Workers aren’t the only ones who need to double-check that they’re withholding sufficient taxes. The IRS is warning retirees to ensure they’re paying enough federal income tax.”

The IRS embarked on a big awareness campaign since the summer, telling taxpayers they should review and update their withholding numbers at work to ensure that they are paying enough federal income tax. But they’re not the only ones who should be checking their numbers, reports CNBC in the article “The IRS is warning retirees of this impending surprise tax.” Retirees who fail to update withholding from pensions or annuities may be in for a surprise, and it won’t be a good one. Continue reading

investment-3247252_640-300x200“Most Americans enter retirement age with access to Social Security benefits. Many people also have Individual Retirement Accounts, including those that were funded by transferring money from workplace 401(k) plans.”

One trick to a successful retirement is to make your Social Security benefits coordinate optimally with your Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), says AZ Central in the article “Retirement planning: Connecting the dots between Social Security and IRAs.”

Not everyone takes a step back to think this way.  However, it is a smart thing to do. With proper planning, your retirement could lead to better results for your investments and a better decision on when to take Social Security benefits. Continue reading

accounting-calulator-paper-tape-1241883-640x480-300x225The Queen of Soul did not have an estate plan, a will or a trust when she died from pancreatic cancer recently, according to news reports. That’s especially surprising, said Investment News in the article “Aretha Franklin estate echoes planning problems of Prince,” since her estate has already been valued at as much as $80 million.

Franklin was not married, so the estate will pass to her four children. It’s similar to the situation that occurred when Prince died unmarried and without a will in 2016.

Had she been married her estate would have passed tax-free to a spouse and there would have been planning opportunities available at that time. Continue reading

pexels-photo-1128317-300x251No one likes to consider the prospect of tragedy striking, especially when children are young, but according to this article in the Lodi News Sentinel, “Planning for what comes last,” estate planning is especially important for families just starting out. When the children grow up, estate planning is important to protect the children, making their lives easier, when the time comes to pass assets along.

Think of an estate plan as a gift for the next generation, as is making funeral plans in advance. You can’t assume that your adult children will know what you want for your funeral and you don’t want them to have to make decisions during a time of great sadness. Continue reading

hands-walking-stick-elderly-old-person-300x200When you don’t have kids or close family members, making decisions about an assisted living facility can be lonely and daunting, often leading people to delay planning. For many people, says Financial Planning in a recent article “Planning challenge: aging clients, no kids, assisted living required,” just the thought of moving into an assisted living facility, means they are entering a dark tunnel or, as some say, heading into God’s waiting room.

The challenge is often the same for people whose adult children live far away or those who are not involved with their family. In coming decades, more Americans will find themselves in a similar situation, according to a 2013 study by AARP’s Public Policy Institute. Continue reading

dependent-dementia-woman-old-70578-300x225A Jamaica man was charged with tricking his 101-year-old neighbor into handing over the deed to his house last week. A trio of Maspeth thieves pleaded guilty to posing as grandchildren and even recruiting kids to rob senior citizens’ homes in July. In Flushing, a man allegedly begged an elderly victim to wire him $41,000 to post non-existent bail in the Dominican Republic. These are just three out of many elder abuse cases that have made their way to the Queens (New York) County Criminal Court in recent weeks, reports the Queens Daily Eagle in its article “Nuanced Directives, Power of Attorney Can Stem Elder Abuse.” These cases of elder abuse, fraud, and predation are reflective of a far larger problem. Continue reading