What is Portability?

Jamie Held / October 31, 2011
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2010 Tax Relief Act The 2010 Tax Relief Act (a.k.a. The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010) provided us with a $5 million federal estate tax exemption and a federal estate tax rate of 35%.  It also introduced a feature called “portability” (see previous Epilawg articles summarizing the 2010 Tax […]

Duane Allman

Jennifer Santini / October 29, 2011
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November 20, 1946 – October 29, 1971 Born Howard Duane Allman, Duane was a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band. He died 40 years ago today, just shy of his 25th birthday. For the 35th anniversary of his death, Michael Ventre wrote a nice tribute to Allman (which can be read here), who is […]

Selecting Trustees

Jayne Sykora / October 26, 2011
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We’ve written on Epilawg before about the importance of choosing the right individuals for the various roles that need to be filled in your estate plan. In this post, I will focus specifically on choosing a trustee.

Another Way To Give

Jennifer Santini / October 23, 2011
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Maggie Green recently wrote about instilling charitable values in children in her post Raising Young Philanthropists. While this post is a little off topic from most of our estate planning articles, in honor of the 2011 National Pro Bono Celebration, I thought it was appropriate to extend the conversation not only to charitable giving but […]

World Alzheimer’s Month Extended?

Maggie Green / October 17, 2011
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As reported on Forbes.com, September was World Alzheimer’s Month. It hasn’t been officially extended to October but the topic is so relevant that we should continue to consider the impact of the disease on our society. In particular, the impact of the disease on individual sufferers and their families. Here are a few relevant points […]

U.S. Savings Bonds

Jayne Sykora / October 15, 2011
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Personally, I have never been one to purchase U.S. Savings Bonds. Nor have I received any as gifts. However, I have worked with many clients that one way or the other, have many Savings Bonds. When helping these clients with their estate plan, I have learned more than I ever imagined I would about Savings […]

Lessons from the Rich & Famous

Jennifer Santini / October 11, 2011
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With the recent deaths of Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder, and Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, we are reminded how important it is to properly plan for the transfer of assets upon death. While the average American does not have the wealth that Mr. Jobs had (estimated at $7 billion1) or Mr. Davis (estimated […]

Edgar Allan Poe

Jennifer Santini / October 9, 2011
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January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849 Today is the 162nd anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death at age 40. Poe led a difficult life, which started when both of his parents died within three years after he was born. Poe spent many years of his short life impoverished while he wrote numerous poems, short stories, […]

Maximize Social Security Benefits as a Married Couple — Part 3

Chris Hiestand / October 7, 2011
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Minimizing and Managing Social Security Benefit Taxes This is the third and final article of a three-part series to help married couples maximize the total amount of Social Security benefits they will receive in their lifetimes. How Social Security Benefits Are Taxed The amount that benefits are taxed is determined by how much other earned […]

Maximize Social Security Benefits as a Married Couple – Part 2

Chris Hiestand / October 5, 2011
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Maximizing Spousal and Survival Benefits This is the second article of a three-part series to help married couples maximize the total amount of Social Security benefits they will receive in their lifetimes. The Basics of Spousal Benefits Coordinating spousal benefits is one of the most complicated areas of successful Social Security benefits planning.  Overlooking the […]

Maximize Social Security Benefits as a Married Couple – Part 1

Chris Hiestand / October 3, 2011
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Calculating Your Benefits and Deciding When to Apply This is the first article of a three-part series to help married couples maximize the total amount of Social Security benefits they will receive in their lifetimes. Why focus on maximizing Social Security benefits?  Doing a little thoughtful planning now will lead to more immediate income, higher […]