What is an ABLE account? An ABLE account is a tax advantaged savings account for individuals with disabilities, which can be used for disability-related expenses on behalf of the designated beneficiary. Although contributions are not tax-deductible, these accounts have several benefits, including: Non-taxed income, One account per beneficiary, Investment strategy can be changed twice yearly, ABLE accounts do not affect SSI, Medicaid or other public benefits. Regulations on these accounts will be written by the Treasury Department in 2015.
We provide you with tips and wisdom to help individuals understand and create roadmaps for the distribution and preservation of assets and why wealth planning is so crucial.
With the close of the summer quickly approaching, kids going back to school, and life going back to “normal,” we thought it might be a good time to go back to the basics and discuss why EVERYONE needs an estate plan. While the reasons a person or family needs an estate plan are vast and varied, it is a FACT that everyone needs an estate plan - period. Now, don’t get us wrong, your estate plan may look nothing like the old Last Will and Testament you read of your grandmothers, but that is because today estate planning can be specifically tailored to your goals, the specific assets you need to plan for, and the circumstances surrounding your world.
As we progress throughout our lives, we seek meaning in our family, social, religious and work relationships. “The future must be seen in terms of what a person can do to contribute something, to make something better, to make it go where he believes with all his being it ought to go.” - Frederick R. Kappel. When we do succeed in finding religious, charitable or social meaning in our lives, one avenue of honoring this can be to make a financial gift to an organization or institution which develops, reflects, or embodies this meaning in our lives.
So I’m an estate planner …well … what’s that mean? That’s a question I get all the time, whether by a prospective client or a neighbor or somebody sitting next to me at the bar. My answer: I make things easier for families during the worst possible situations. Whether that is a result of a loved one dying, becoming incapacitated, getting divorced… But let’s be honest, isn’t estate planning the easiest thing to put off and not talk about? I mean it’s morbid… sad to think about.
Over the years, estate and gift taxation has often been a see-saw of policy and tax rate changes. As administrations come and go, it seems so do the tax rates on estates and gifts. From 1 million to 5 million to unlimited millions, the administrations lead our planning to be based on a “best guess” of what’s coming next. Then, last year we finally got a “permanent law” that indexed the rates for inflation but otherwise left them predictable. Or, so some of us thought.