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Estate Planning

Frequently Asked Questions – Estate Taxes

July 16, 2012
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Question: How will estate taxes be paid if I leave no provision in my will? Answer: The IRS places an automatic lien against your estate for any estate taxes that may be due. If your will leaves no specific provision about how these taxes are to be paid, state law generally controls how the burden…

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Organizing Your Finances When Your Spouse Has Died

May 28, 2012
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Losing a spouse is a stressful transition. And the added pressure of having to settle the estate and organize finances can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make dealing with these matters less difficult. Notify others When your spouse dies, your first step should be to contact anyone who is close…

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Understanding Probate

May 21, 2012
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When you die, you leave behind your estate. Your estate consists of your assets–all of your money, real estate, and worldly belongings. Your estate also includes your debts, expenses, and unpaid taxes. After you die, somebody must take charge of your estate and settle your affairs. This person will take your estate through probate, a…

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Speculating on the Future of the Federal Estate Tax

April 23, 2012
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What is the future of the federal estate tax? All we know for sure is that no one knows anything; it’s all speculation. So, let’s take a look at what could happen. A quick history lesson An alphabet soup of tax laws (EGTRRA, JGTRRA, TIPRA, and the others, 13 in total), enacted between 2001 and…

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Family Limited Partnership (FLP): Business Succession Planning

April 2, 2012
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A family limited partnership (FLP) is a limited liability business entity created and governed by state law, and it is generally composed of two or more family members. It can be a powerful estate planning tool that (1) may help reduce income and transfer taxes, (2) lets you distribute assets to your heirs while keeping…

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Gift- or Sale-Leaseback: Estate Freeze Technique

March 19, 2012
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A sale-leaseback is a transaction where one party sells property to another party and then immediately leases back the property. Similarly, a gift-leaseback is a transaction where one party gives property to another party and then leases the property back. A sale-leaseback is useful if a business owner needs to raise cash by selling assets,…

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Financial Planning–Helping You See the Big Picture

December 21, 2011
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Do you picture yourself owning a new home, starting a business, or retiring comfortably? These are a few of the financial goals that may be important to you, and each comes with a price tag attached. That’s where financial planning comes in. Financial planning is a process that can help you reach your goals by…

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Life Insurance: Protecting Today's Assets and Tomorrow's Heirs

December 19, 2010
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Many people obtain life insurance when they first have children and then forget about it, except for when the premium bill comes due. But an effective financial plan includes reexamining your life insurance needs continually throughout your life to ensure the assets you’ve accumulated are protected and to provide additional opportunities to create wealth. Estimate…

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