12 May
May 12, 2017

Young adulthood often marks the passage of several major life events including beginning a career, getting married, starting a family, and buying a first home. As young adults ourselves, my husband and I welcomed our first child, moved states for a new career, and bought our first home, all in the past year.

While settling into being first-time parents and exploring our new neighborhood, another important item lingered on our to-do list: ensuring our son would be taken care of, if

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17 Feb
February 17, 2017

You want to help your child buy a house, while ensuring that you do so in a tax-smart way. While you may have the best intentions, helping out in the wrong way can cause you or your child, or both, to lose tax benefits.

So, what’s the best way to assist your child in buying a home?

The good news is that there are several strategies for helping your child that also preserve tax benefits related to home ownership. Two considerations are

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07 Jul
July 07, 2016

For charitably inclined individuals, many strategies exist that allow you to meet your philanthropic goals while creating tax savings. One strategy to consider is a Qualified Charitable Distribution, or QCD. QCDs are distributions that come directly from your IRA to a qualified charity of your choice. This type of IRA distribution is not included in the taxpayer’s AGI. QCDs became permanent with the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, and this strategy allows individuals to

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03 Dec
December 03, 2014

The single most important estate planning document many of us have is a Power of Attorney for Health Care. This document allows us to name a person we trust referred to as an Agent to direct decisions regarding health care, medical treatment, and hospitalization when we are no longer able to make those decisions. Powers of Attorney also often provide authorization to your Agent to require, withhold, or withdraw any type of medical treatment or procedure even though

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08 Sep
September 08, 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge spread like wildfire across social media. And while we saw many young people take the challenge, we have to wonder – did they comprehend the deeper idea behind donating to ALS, or did they just have fun dumping ice water over their heads? This thought led to an array of questions about the value of charitable giving and how to teach it at a young age to ensure it evolves into a habit and not

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29 Apr
April 29, 2014

At face value giving your home to your children may seem like an ideal way to pass on wealth, reduce the size your estate, and improve your chances of being eligible for Medicaid’s long-term care benefits.

However, gifting your home may not be the best way to accomplish these goals and could also trigger unintended tax consequences.

When passing on wealth, the goal is to avoid or minimize taxes. Gifts are taxed differently than an inheritance. When gifting your home, your child’s

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27 Oct
October 27, 2011

Economic uncertainty and longer life expectancies have created stress for many baby boomers. This generation is quickly becoming known for being the sandwich generation – those trying to provide financial support for both their aging parents as well as their young adult children. It is normal for many of these parents to try lending a hand to their children, many of whom have been a casualty of high unemployment. At the same time that these young adults

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15 Aug
August 15, 2008

You hear about them every once in a while: the lady that worked an ordinary job and her estate left over $4 Million dollars to her favorite charity. How did she get there? Was she the recipient of a sizeable inheritance? How could she accumulate such a large chunk of money? Today’s environment finds many people struggling with personal financial issues. How about the other side of the coin: what traits can you develop to put yourself (and

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12 Dec
December 12, 2007

Do you want to simplify your charitable giving plan?  Do you want the benefits of a family foundation without all of the complicated regulations?  If you answered yes, you may want to consider using a Donor Advised Fund (DAF).

DAFs have become very popular in recent years. The concept is quite simple.  An investor (donor) can open an account at a sponsoring company.  Fidelity and Vanguard each offer DAF accounts.  Our local community foundation also offers a DAF.  Once

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10 Dec
December 10, 2007

I will never forget the year Mom received “Buttercup.”  She had religiously collected every ornament from Hallmark’s Mary’s Angels Collection.  But she missed Buttercup one year.  She had come to accept the fact her collection would never be complete.  When she opened her gift and identified the lost treasure, she cried tears of joy.

Ask any child if they would prefer to get a gift or give a gift, the answer becomes abundantly clear.  However, as we mature into young adults

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11 Jan
January 11, 2007

Did you know that the federal government has established guidelines for gift tax exemptions and gift tax rates for all property? While these guidelines are generous– everyone has a lifetime gift tax exemption of $1,000,000– it’s still important for you to understand them.

In 2007 and 2008, the IRS determined that gifts under $12,000 per person, per year, were exempt from a federal gift tax.  Gifts over the annual $12,000 per person limit are called “taxable gifts.”  In the

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