Estate Planning Advice You Can Use Now to Help Your Family Later

  • Getting this estate planning advice will ensure your family benefits from your assets for years to come. Do you know what estate planning advice you should put into action? No one knows what tomorrow may bring, which is why you should prepare for anything. With proper estate planning, more of your wealth will go to your family members instead of to the IRS or debt collectors. While it’s difficult to think about the future, planning ahead can mean the difference…

    2 Reasons Medicaid Planning Should Be Part of Your Trust and Estate Planning

  • Should you incorporate Medicaid planning into your trust and estate planning? Here are three reasons you should. Longer life expectancy rates and higher costs of elder care mean Medicaid planning is more important now than ever. Seniors - individuals 65 years and older—may qualify for Medicaid, which is a federal-state program that provides assistance for healthcare costs. Taking the time to go through proper Medicaid planning with a trusted expert is a smart move for two primary reasons: #1: Ensure…

    What You Should Know about Death and Taxes when Creating Your Trust

  • Up on what you need to know about death and taxes? There are ways you can structure your estate to avoid large amounts of taxation. Do you know about death and taxes and how to protect your heirs? If you haven't properly structured your estate, your beneficiaries could be in for an unpleasant surprise regarding your death and the taxes that go along with your estate and their inheritance. The average estate can be subject to taxes, and large estates…

    Breaking Down the Difference Between a Will and a Trust

  • What’s the difference between a will and a trust, and which is right for you? Do you have your will and trust completed? Estate planning is not a fun topic of conversation for most people. But you must make a clear plan for your assets upon your death. The unexpected passing of a person with no will or trust creates legal headaches for his or her heirs. The probate process can take months, even years to identify beneficiaries and sort…

    The 3 Most Important Estate Planning Strategies to Protect Your Wealth and Your Family

  • Looking for estate planning tips? Here’s what you need to know to protect your wealth. It’s common for people to put off the task of estate planning. However, it’s important to take a proactive approach to the process to protect your wealth before it’s too late. Maybe it’s the unpleasantness of thinking about one’s mortality. Or maybe it's the fact that the process seems complicated. But many families are put under unnecessary stress in situations where there has not been…

    The 3 Most Effective Estate Planning Strategies You’ve Been Looking For

  • Looking for effective estate planning strategies? Here’s what you need to know. By using effective estate planning strategies now, you can save your family time, energy, and money. With proper planning, your family will owe less money to legal fees and taxes. This means more of your estate gets transferred to your family, where it belongs. However, you shouldn't make your plans alone; estate taxes are numerous and difficult to understand. The right strategy can minimize your exposure. Here are…
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    Is it Ever Too Soon to Start Estate Planning?

  • Have concerns about whether you should start estate planning? Understand that it's never too soon to take these important steps. Estate planning is a necessary step that those who have a large amount of money and property must consider before they pass. However, because it is so complex, many people prefer putting off this planning. Others are simply not yet ready to admit their morality. They may believe they are too young to go through this type of process. That's…
    Estate planning mistakes

    Estate Planning Mistakes Everyone Makes and How to Avoid Them

  • Will your loved ones have to pay the price for estate planning mistakes you made? Many people in America will die with no estate plan at all. Don’t beat yourself up if you discover your well-thought-out plan is full of estate planning mistakes. You’re still a step ahead of most people. Trying to do estate planning on your own usually means that mistakes are inevitable. Here are some tips to help you make sure you avoid some of the most…
    Difference, will and trust

    What’s The Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

  • There are many differences between drafting a will and trust, but both options are great for securing your financial future. The time has come to secure your assets for the future; the first step is to choose between a will and trust. Both options allow you to pass on your property as you see fit, but the manner of doing so can differ significantly. Keep these key differences in mind as you choose your ideal estate planning approach. Probate Avoidance…
    Taxes, Death and taxes

    The Ugly Truth about Death and Taxes

  • Death and taxes really do go hand in hand. Here's how to avoid a mess for your loved ones. The old cliché states that nothing is certain except death and taxes. But what it fails to address is how tax situations grow even more complicated after death. The estate tax has long been a hotly debated topic in politics and with good reason. These taxes have the potential to drain an estate's assets before they can go to the estate holder's…
    Estate Planning Help

    Estate Planning Help to Protect Your Assets Now and For Your Family

  • Estate planning help can ensure a secure financial future for your family. People often mistakenly assume estate planning help is only for the wealthy. But in reality, all families can benefit from a well-rounded estate plan that protects their assets. As you plan for the future financial security of your loved ones, keep these key planning strategies in mind: Create a Will or Trust This seems like a simple and obvious step. But it's not followed as often as you'd…
    Estate Planning Tips

    The Final Friday 5: Top 5 Estate Planning Tips

  • Which estate planning tips can help me put together a plan that will take care of my family?
 You might be wondering why you should look into estate planning tips before getting started. Estate plans provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind. However, if they aren't composed properly, they can create more issues down the line. The last thing you want is for your family to run into hurdles and obstacles after your death. Some of these…
    Estate Planning Strategies

    Estate Planning Strategies to Protect Your Assets Now and For Your Family

  • If you're trying to plan for the future and protect your assets, estate planning strategies and tips can benefit you and your loved ones. 
Researching estate planning strategies is an excellent idea for anyone worried about the possibility of losing assets. Due to unforeseen issues, even plans made with the best of intentions can fail to leave enough for family members. Properly constructed estate plans can help protect your assets in the present while also keeping them safe for the…

    “Not-for-Profit” Rentals result in Bad Tax Consequences

  • Many real estate investors aren’t aware of WHAT allows expenses to be tax deductible. The answer is: a business purpose and profit motive. If you lack one or both, an IRS audit on your rentals will not turn out well, because expenses you thought were deductible are disallowed. The IRS calls these “not-for-profit” activities. Your “rentals” may appear to be “not-for-profit” rentals when you: Charge less than fair-market-rents. Are slow to collect back rents. Fail to take legal actions for…

    Collecting Fair Market Rent is Vital to Tax Deductions

  • Beware: If you don’t collect fair market rents (FMR) on your rental properties, your tax deductions may be disallowed by the IRS. The reason is that the Tax Code requires that deductible expenses have a business purpose AND that you have a profit motive in order to take tax deductions. If audited by the IRS, you may have to prove that you’re collecting FMR, which is the going rate for rents of similar properties that someone unrelated to you would…

    Real Estate Sales can be Audited Back Six Years

  • Ordinarily, the IRS has three years to audit you after you file your tax returns, but some returns can be audited back six years. These audits often involve real estate sales when IRS believes you omitted 25% or more of your gross income. When it comes to real estate sales, IRS argues that taxpayers claimed excess basis for a property when it was sold, resulting in a lower gain reported. If IRS believes the gain was understated by 25% of…

    IRS is Auditing My Rental Losses

  • Many real estate investors assume that if audited their records and receipts are all they need to win the audit. However, it’s not always having the receipts that allows for the deductions, but what motivates you and your intentions at the time. Real estate investors need to understand exactly WHAT allows for a tax deduction? (It’s more than receipts). The Tax Code requires that you have a profit motive to deduct the expenses you incur in operating your rentals. If…

    IRS Wins by Reclassifying Rental to “Investment Property”

  • It’s not just the lack of receipts and records that cause most real estate investors to lose when audited by the IRS. Often, it’s their own testimony used against them that allows the IRS to reclassify their activity into something passive for a less favorable outcome. To illustrate a difference in the Tax Code over active v. passive participation, let’s discuss two hypothetical neighbors living next door to each other, who appear to had done most everything the same, but…

    IRS Audits of Cabin Vacation Rentals

  • Having receipts and great records doesn’t mean that an IRS audit will go well. IRS auditors are masters of invoking provisions in the Tax Code that often make receipts and records useless. The tax rules are especially complex when renting a property for a few days at a time, such as renting-out a family cabin when you’re not using it. The following is an example of what can go wrong during an IRS audit of a cabin vacation rental. Facts:…

    Sham Trusts

  • “Sham trusts” are names given to certain trusts that the IRS claims are illegal. They can be either domestic or foreign trusts or both. The promoters of these trusts claim that they reduce or eliminate income taxes, but the IRS and the courts disagree and are aggressively pursuing taxpayers who own them and their promoters. The promoters charge high fees to set them up, but the structure doesn’t seem to have an actual business purpose other than evading taxes. The…

    Estate Planning 101-The Basics

  • The majority of American's die today with no will, trust or estate plan whatsoever.  The absence of a valid estate plan means the state will decide how to distribute your estate, and it may not be the desired result that you were intending. An estate plan is essentially a written plan for the disposition of your assets at death.  A well drafted plan can avoid the costs and delays of probate and minimize or eliminate estate taxes, thereby providing the…

    Helping Families with Special Needs

  • What is the best way to provide for a loved one with special needs after you are gone?  How do you plan for the long term care of a disabled child or elder adult? When considering your estate plan, it is important to avoid some of the costliest mistakes that many people make when drafting their estate plan. An estate plan that is properly drafted can ensure that your Special Needs Beneficiary (SNB) has sufficient assets to improve his or…

    New Trustees & Executors-Information We Will Need

  • The following is information that we will need from you to assist you with your trustee or executor administration duties. Due to the different types of trusts and variations in their complexity, not all areas listed will apply to you.  There will most likely be other items not listed that we will identify through the discovery process.  Please note: the facts and circumstances are different in every case. The first thing you should do, if you have not done so…

    Integrating Your Estate Plan to the Larger Perspective

  • Estate planning will help you pass more of your assets to your loved ones rather than to the government and the legal system, thereby helping ease the strain on your family with as few legal hurdles as possible. Your family can avoid the time and costs associated with the probate process A well drafted estate plan can minimize or eliminate estate taxes and will keep the cost of transferring property to beneficiaries as low as possible.  It can insure that…

    Trust and Estate Tax Returns

  • Tax Returns Even When You Die?  As Executor or Successor Trustee you may be responsible for filing tax returns for the decedent and the estate or trust. Income Tax Returns Often a final 1040 personal income tax return, and a State version, is required to report income and expenses up to the date of death. A 1041 Fiduciary Income Tax Return, along with the State version, is filed to report income and expenses from after the date of death until…

    Advisory Services to Trustees and Executors

  • Have you been named a Successor Trustee or Executor for a loved one who has recently passed on?  If so, it is important that you understand your role and the responsibilities that you have. California law requires you, as successor trustee or executor, to take specific legal steps in carrying out your fiduciary duties.  If the estate contains items of substantial value, such as a home, stocks and bonds, or other investments, it is worthwhile to hire an experienced administrative…

    DEATH OF A LOVED ONE-What to Do

  • THINGS TO DO AFTER THE DEATH OF A LOVED ONE If you have been named as a successor trustee or executor, the following is list of the many things you may be required to do in order to fulfill your fiduciary duties under the law.  All items may not apply, however, this is meant to be a helpful list at a time of loss. WITHIN FIRST 24 HOURS OR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE Safeguard decedent’s property, such as a motor…

    Trust and Estate Tax Returns

  • Tax Returns Even When You Die?  As Executor or Successor Trustee you may be responsible for filing tax returns for the decedent and the estate or trust. Income Tax Returns Often a final 1040 personal income tax return, and a State version, is required to report income and expenses up to the date of death. A 1041 Fiduciary Income Tax Return, along with the State version, is filed to report income and expenses from after the date of death until…

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