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December 2020

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As we continue the holiday season, and are in the spirit of gratitude, we would like to consider the gifts we give at the end of the year. Some gifts can be given tax-free and knowing the applicable tax exemptions before you give to loved ones and charities can be beneficial. Each year the IRS recognizes a gift tax exclusion. This is the amount an individual can gift to another person without incurring any tax. For 2020, the annual exclusion amount...

We would like to wrap up our season of gratitude by saying thank you. A big thank you to our clients for entrusting us with something as important as your estate plan. We are grateful for the opportunity to help you and your families plan for the future and protect what is important to you. We know the considerations that go into your plan can be difficult, and we appreciate you working with us to help make a plan...

Last week we looked at how you can leave lasting memories and lessons in your estate plan to help future generations. This week we're delving into how you can share and experience thankfulness, even during a global pandemic.  Making it Possible to Come Together, Even from a Safe Distance:  We understand the holidays might look different for you this year. Big meals with your entire extended family under the same roof or meeting up with those you haven't seen in a while...

As we focus on what we are grateful this time of year, we often look to cherished traditions and memories with loved ones – cooking holiday dinners, volunteering at charities together, and in general spending time together.  It is instances like these, among others, we can preserve and pass on to our loved ones along with our financial wealth. Did you know that you can include in your estate plan, stories and experiences or guideline and “guidelights”? What is referred to...

As we head towards the end of the year, many are undoubtedly stressed or anxious. The holiday season is about to start, and it will look different than most this year. However, it is important we take the time to look back, think about what we have accomplished and consider what we are grateful for. Maybe you were able to figure out how to work from home or you stepped in as a temporary teacher for your children. Perhaps you...

We'd like to end this week by discussing some of the common reasons individuals have not created a plan. "I don't have the time." We commonly hear this in our office. Individuals are interested in estate planning or it is something they have been trying to get to for a while but keep putting off as other things come up. Unfortunately, however, it is something you can only put off for so long. Our lives can, and do, change rapidly.  Having an estate...

Proper funding is an essential step in the estate planning process. Funding is designating beneficiaries on your accounts and policies, as well as transferring assets into the name of your trust.  Making sure you have your funding complete means your estate plan will work how you intend it to.  Naming beneficiaries on your account can help ensure who receives your assets. If you have no listed beneficiary, then the state controls who gains possession of your assets. For some, this would be...

If you read our last post on the different things that can go into an estate plan, you may have thought to yourself, “I had a basic will and powers of attorney drawn up years ago, I’m all covered” and went about your day. But, if that is the case, ask yourself has anything changed in your life since you have made your plan? A follow up question is, will the plan still work?  For your estate plan to work properly it...

The third week of October has been designated by Congress as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. The goal for this week is to highlight the importance of estate planning and how planning can benefit you.  The Resolution by Congress noted "the implementation of an estate plan starts with sound education and planning," and then the drafting of legal documents.  Our office couldn't agree more, and we are dedicating this week to articles, quick posts to think about, and a webinar on our...

Schools across the United States are preparing plans on the safest ways to welcome back students for the 2020-21 year. Elementary through High Schools are figuring out whether remote, in-person, or some hybrid makes the most sense for their districts. Meanwhile, some universities have begun to permit their students to move back to campus and for parents all around this can be a nerve-wracking time. Under “normal” circumstances for those of you who are parents of college students, you would likely...