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Check Your Beneficiary Designations

Check Your Beneficiary Designations

I regularly urge readers to organize their estates and I’ve talked at length about including all assets in that planning, so I would be remiss not to mention an important piece of estate organization advice. Make a habit of periodically checking the beneficiary designations on your life insurance policies – as well as other financial accounts for which you may have beneficiaries. The reason for this is that these designations bypass your will. That means that the proceeds of the insurance are not controlled by your will but rather the beneficiary designation listed on your policy.
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Give Your Family the Roadmap to Your Legacy

Give Your Family the Roadmap to Your Legacy

Creating a legacy can be a dual effort but oftentimes one person in the household takes the lead on planning. It’s a natural approach because when one person does the job, you avoid duplication of effort. It would be easy to overlap if both you and your spouse were heavily involved in the planning process. While it makes sense to delegate the responsibility to one person, what if that person should die first?
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Should You Consider a Trust?

Should You Consider a Trust?

When most people hear the word “trust,” they think of the ultra wealthy. And for good reason. Many wealthy people use trusts to protect their assets from estate taxes and other financial threats, and to pass along fortunes to children and dependents. But trusts can be used for a number of purposes beyond just saving on estate taxes. Here are a few of the reasons you might want to consider a trust as part of your financial and estate plan. I’ve also included a brief description of some of the types of trusts people have used in these situations.
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Protect Your Estate – and Your Heirs

Protect Your Estate – and Your Heirs

The end goal of estate planning is to ensure your heirs are financially secure. That’s the reason you go to all the effort to organize your affairs in the first place – to protect your family. But improperly set up or poorly managed, a large portion of your estate could end up in the hands of the government in the form of federal income taxes. In order to avoid these potentially devastating penalties, you first need to know what taxes your estate stands to face before you can develop a plan.
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Legacy Planning for Every Family

Legacy Planning for Every Family

As a young child, I had firsthand experience with the consequences of my father not having the opportunity to properly plan his estate and transfer his legacy. I grew up in a very loving, but challenging environment. My family was unprepared when my father passed away – there was no strategy for providing a financial safety net or sharing my father’s fundamental values. In fact, as I grew older, I had very little knowledge of my father and all of the life lessons that a father typically passes on to his son.
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