Blog Posts in 2012

  • Retirement Plan Loans Become High Audit Risk

    || 10-Nov-2012

    Participants are allowed to borrow from their account balance in some profit sharing and 401(k) plans, if the governing plan document allows. It is optional with the employer. We have discouraged our employer-clients from including loan provisions in their plan documents because loans have often burdensome administration requirements. There are strict limits. When a participant misses a payment ...
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  • The Worst Bank in America

    || 15-May-2012

    For Clients, Community and Advisors. Every day, we assist our clients in transferring assets to their trusts to ensure that the goals and objectives of their estate plans are accomplished. Once the assets are transferred, we endeavor to verify that the assets are correctly titled. I would venture to say that every year, we deal with hundreds of financial institutions. Some are easier to work with ...
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  • Organ Donation via Facebook. Is It Binding?

    || 9-May-2012

    For Clients, Advisors and Community. There was recent news that Facebook users could register as organ donors. This development gave great publicity to the fact that 70% of individuals would accept a donated organ if needed but only 30% are registered to be organ donors. The result has been a well publicized shortage of needed organs for transplantation. Please note that looking for an organ donor ...
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  • What Is a DNR Order? How Does It Work?

    || 1-May-2012

    For Clients, Community and Advisers. I am often asked about the mechanics of implementing a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) Order. Many elder or infirm clients do not want to spend their last months dragged through extraordinary medical procedures. Rather, they choose to have a natural death without having the medical establishment bring out the paddles every time they arrest or have breathing trouble. ...
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  • For Professional Advisors: If your clients are shopping for long-term care insurance, they should expect higher costs and a tougher approval process. That’s the message in a recent Wall Street Journal article ( http://tinyurl.com/873zaco ) about the decision by an increasing number of insurers to stop selling such policies. Most recently, Prudential Financial announced plans to stop taking ...
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  • The Success of Minority Owned Businesses

    || 10-Apr-2012

    For Clients, Advisors and Community A recent Wall Street Journal article states that women owned businesses struggle when revenues get to the level of $250,000-$499,999. It also cites a 2011 study conclusing that the proportion of woman owned businesses with revenues of $1 million and more is about the same as it was in 1998. I wonder why this is the case. If you would like to see the article, ...
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  • Assisted Living: Promise or Dumping Ground?

    || 3-Apr-2012

    For Clients, Advisors and Community In my 32 years of practice, I have watched my clients age, enjoying long years with their children and grandchildren. In our senior care (elder law) practice, I am increasingly counselling my clients about long term care issues including, the transition from independent living to getting assistance whether it be with medications, getting to and from their doctor ...
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  • Are Living Trusts Created Just For Tax Benefits? For Professional Advisors. Lawyers and advisors around the country are getting some push back from their clients when they recommend Revocable Living Trusts (RLT). The issue seems to be that their clients perceive RLTs to only be good as tax planning tools. With the federal estate tax exemption currently set at $5 million per individual and $10 ...
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  • In recent years, have you made a gift of real estate to your children or grandchildren or, for that matter, anyone? If you have, you need to read this article. The Law. Transfer of real estate (or anything of value) from one person (donor) to another (donee) for less than fair market value is considered a gift for gift tax purposes. This is considered a separate tax system from our income tax ...
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  • For Clients, Advisors and Community. In March and May, 2011, I wrote blog articles about the asset protection aspects of inherited IRAs. This article describes current developments involving tax aspects of inherited IRAs. What is so important about inherited IRAs? With careful planning, the beneficiary of an inherited IRA (typically a child) has the opportunity to defer income taxes (with ...
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  • For Clients, Advisors and Community. Do you have a vacation home? Perhaps you celebrate every Christmas at a mountain lodge built by Grandpa, take the kids on a spring break to a beachside condo, or spend summer weekends at the old farmhouse so the little ones can catch fireflies. How do you pass on your vacation home to the next generation so that everyone still enjoys spending time together ...
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  • Surprise! Illinois Increases State Estate Tax Exemption

    || 27-Jan-2012

    For Clients, Advisors and Community. Senate Bill 0397 was passed on December 16, 2011 as Public Law 97-0636. It provides mostly for technical changes in the Illinois Income Tax Law. At the end of the legislation it provides for an increase in the lifetime exclusion from the Illinois Estate Tax. For individuals dying prior to 2012, the lifetime exclusion from the Illinois Estate Tax was $2,000,000. ...
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  • Retirement Planning and Meeting the Client's Objectives

    || 4-Jan-2012

    The Wealth Counselor provides helpful information regarding how to use IRAs and retirement plans to transfer wealth, addresses common misconceptions on this topic, and explains the importance of naming a trust as beneficiary. In this blog article, we will begin by covering the basics. If after reading this explanation, you have any questions or concerns for your clients’ estate planning and ...
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