Five Steps to Inheriting a Fortune

An inheritance is sometimes called a “legacy,” and receiving one can be a blessing – or a curse. One the one hand, there is the temptation to think like a lottery winner and imagine a life of easy indulgence. On the other, there is the instinct to do the “right thing” by paying off debts, investing wisely, and saving for the future. The fact that many lottery winners ultimately file for bankruptcy should be sufficiently instructive as to which course you should take.

Timing Your Gifts to Trim Your Tax Bill

Timing gifts to charity Tax season is upon us, and most people’s first question is what they can do to pay less. The key to a lower tax bill is reducing your taxable income. Several financial maneuvers will achieve this result. For example, you can top off your 401(k) or IRA contributions, sell off losing investments from a taxable account, or ask that your employer hold off on paying you a bonus until after December 31st.

Do You Have a Day After Insurance Plan?

Insurance is a form of risk management, designed to minimize the loss associated with certain events like flood, fire, accidents, disability, and even death. Most insurance requires an agent and the payment of premiums. However, there is a type of insurance which you can take out on your own that costs nothing, but will provide your loved ones with incredible peace of mind, when the “Day After” arises.

A Tale of Two Couples

Lessons in estate planning Roberto and Ian didn’t leave anything to chance. They ordered their movie tickets online in case the show sold out before they got to the theater. They always bought trip insurance, on the off chance their travel plans didn’t pan out. They flossed daily, replaced smoke-detector batteries annually, and changed their furnace filters every six months.

A Tale of Two Couples

Lessons in estate planning Roberto and Ian didn’t leave anything to chance. They ordered their movie tickets online in case the show sold out before they got to the theater. They always bought trip insurance, on the off chance their travel plans didn’t pan out. They flossed daily, replaced smoke-detector batteries annually, and changed their furnace filters every six months.

If Your Spouse is Not a U.S. Citizen

You’ve met the man or woman of your dreams, you’ve fallen in love, and you’ve gotten married. Because same-sex marriage is now legal nationwide, the laws and regulations that apply to married straight couples will apply to you as well. But if you or your spouse is not a U.S. citizen, these rules might not be what you would expect when it comes to receiving gifts or inheriting from each other.

Jointly-Owned Property-Not Always the Right Plan

For any number of reasons, you have decided to add a partner, child, or close friend as a joint owner on one or more of your assets. Perhaps you are concerned about becoming disabled, and want to know that your loved one can easily pay your bills and manage things for you. Perhaps you want to ensure that when you pass away your partner will inherit the home you share without having to go through the hassle of opening and administering an estate. What’s not to like about such an easy plan?

Jointly-Owned Property-Not Always the Right Plan

For any number of reasons, you have decided to add a partner, child, or close friend as a joint owner on one or more of your assets. Perhaps you are concerned about becoming disabled, and want to know that your loved one can easily pay your bills and manage things for you. Perhaps you want to ensure that when you pass away your partner will inherit the home you share without having to go through the hassle of opening and administering an estate. What’s not to like about such an easy plan?