With the turning of the year and our progression into spring, our thoughts turn gently to the upcoming income tax season and to the March 6 deadline for determining how much income must be distributed from your non-grantor, irrevocable trust for the 2017 tax year. Trusts themselves are not terribly complex creatures. Someone (the settlor) gives an item to another person/company (the trustee) to manage for the benefit of a [...]
By Diane Weinberg I've always been a little hesitant to write a general article about Medicaid planning with any detail. Medicaid laws and regulations are extremely nuanced and can impact other laws, including tax laws, VA disability pension law, and laws governing trusts and estate. My biggest fear has always been that someone would read the article, attempt to develop a plan based solely on the article without seeking advice [...]
by Loraine M. DiSalvo Just a month ago, I wrote about a Maine court case that grew out of an omitted Oxford comma. For those who didn’t read it, a group of truckers successfully sued their union after some writer’s failure to use the Oxford comma resulted in an unclear sentence regarding overtime rules. (The Oxford, aka serial, comma is the comma in a series of three or more that [...]
By Diane Weinberg In addition to flowers, candy, and romantic dinners on Valentine's Day, you can give another more valuable gift to your spouse and children. Take a few minutes to review the beneficiary designations to your insurance policies, retirement accounts, and annuities to ensure that the right person will receive an inheritance in the event that you unexpectedly pass. Unfortunately, we have had more than one client who left [...]
On January 27, 2017, we were fortunate enough to attend the Balser Symposium in Atlanta to celebrate charitable giving with other like-minded professionals. This year, the speaker was Raj Raghunathan, author of the new book, If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? and professor at the University of Texas with the most successful massive open online course (MOOC) entitled “A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment.”
As an Elder Law attorney, I have heard more than a few tragic stories about how adult children and siblings have lost connections with their loved ones through dementia. I have also heard a number of stories about how music has been able to create a connection between family members and their elderly parents who were otherwise non-verbal or almost non-ambulatory. To be effective, the music must be part of that individual’s past. For example, an avid church member may respond to Amazing Grace.
For those that read our previously recommended book by Peter Zeihan, "The Accidental Superpower," you already know that Zeihan uses logic, science (such as geography and demographics), and history to enable us to see and understand the likely future. After reading his first book a few years ago, I was not shocked when China started to have economic issues after being on top of the world for a time or [...]
Shortly after creating our post on the importance of relationships to one's happiness, we spotted another article that pointed out "The 11 Habits of Truly Happy People," which discusses steps people can take in addition to improving the number and quality of their happiness-creating relationships. We thought we should share this article as well. It can be read here: https://cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.entrepreneur.com/amphtml/284732.
Periodically, we come across new research that looks into what makes people happy. When we find it, we often like to share that research with clients and others. Today, we bring you a really insightful article that was recently published in the Wall Street Journal. You can see the original article here: http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2016/11/27/what-really-makes-retirees-happy-hint-it-isnt-the-money/ Just to give you a taste of what the research discussed in this article and other research [...]
By Diane Weinberg Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the 2016 premiums and deductibles for Medicare Parts A and B. While there is not an increase for most people, those turning 65 this year will likely have higher premiums. Here are the details… Part A – Inpatient hospital coverage The vast majority of Medicare beneficiaries don’t pay a Part A premium because they have at least [...]