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Re: Estate Planning 101 - how, when, where, etc

... Going through probate would be a major PITA for our Trustee. Why? In most cases, in most states, probating a Will is a routine matter. You file the Will, a death certificate and some forms. While there are some exceptions, you didn't provide any information that would suggest that your case wou...
by bsteiner
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Planning 101 - how, when, where, etc
Replies: 13
Views: 942

Re: Estate Planning 101 - how, when, where, etc

Some things you might want to think about before meeting with the lawyer are: 1. How much control should the surviving spouse have? To the extent the surviving spouse shouldn't have control, who should? 2. At what age (if at all) should your children gain control of their shares after neither you no...
by bsteiner
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Planning 101 - how, when, where, etc
Replies: 13
Views: 942

Re: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?

It's interesting that at this point "strict per stirpes" is by far the most popular option at 47% of the vote. For both situation A & B it leads to the most lopsided distributions for the GC generation. Did people vote for this option because it does not punish or reward grandchildren...
by bsteiner
Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?
Replies: 43
Views: 3369

Re: Please Help Me Explain an Equity Index Annuity to a Rela

... I too have been at a "free" dinner where they pitched equity index annuities. ... If you go to the free dinner seminar, and you're the one who buys the annuity, the living trust, the timeshare, or the bridge, not only did you pay for your free dinner, but you paid for the free dinners...
by bsteiner
Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Help Me Explain an Equity Index Annuity to a Relative
Replies: 31
Views: 1652

Re: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?

... We talked to many estate planners when figuring out what to do with our assets. They all agreed that there are ways, like the attorney your aunt used, to qualify for Medicaid, but they did NOT recommend it because the assets should be used for the comfort and care of the person who earned them....
by bsteiner
Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?
Replies: 124
Views: 7880

Re: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?

... It was an elder care attorney that recommended this strategy. ... If she's in her 80s, and she's worth $1.4 million, and has long-term care insurance, and has no children, why did she go to an elder law (Medicaid planning) attorney rather than a trusts and estates lawyer? The income on her asse...
by bsteiner
Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?
Replies: 124
Views: 7880

Re: Portfolio advice for family with special needs child

...I set up a trust that will be funded, in large part, by universal life insurance. The trust will eventually have 7 figures in it. My daughter is lower functioning so she will need care for life. My son will be the trustee. Hopefully it will be enough.... ... That is why we tried to load up on li...
by bsteiner
Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice for family with special needs child
Replies: 28
Views: 1650

Re: Is spouse's 401K protected from LTC expenses?

island wrote:... Will check with an elder care attorney with our estate planning. ....


You would consult with an elder law attorney for Medicaid planning (if applicable), but you would consult with a trusts and estates attorney for estate planning.
by bsteiner
Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is spouse's 401K protected from LTC expenses?
Replies: 9
Views: 1262

Re: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?

My brother and I are in our mid-30's and are expecting two fairly big inheritances in the future. The first inheritance will come from an aunt in her 80's who has no children. My brother and I are the sole heirs at 50% each. Here are the stats about her assets: [approx. $1.4 million] ... She still ...
by bsteiner
Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?
Replies: 124
Views: 7880

Re: Portfolio advice for family with special needs child

... He is not "disabled" enough for a special needs trust. We have a will and a regular trust "shell," or whatever it's called, that is set up to be funded - but we need sufficient, guaranteed-to-be-there money to fund it .... ... As a parent of a 22 year old with special needs,...
by bsteiner
Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice for family with special needs child
Replies: 28
Views: 1650

Re: Just no petroleum or defense?

You could hedge by investing in stocks that are counter to your views. If your views prevail, your investments may not do well, but you'll be happy that your views prevailed. If your views don't prevail, at least you're likely to make money.
by bsteiner
Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just no petroleum or defense?
Replies: 49
Views: 2761

Re: Tax-managed strategy for my mother-in-law's account?

... I also had her cash her IRA cds over 2 years and go ahead and pay the taxes now (she is in a much lower tax bracket than we will be in the event of inheritance. I also read where IRA inheritances are much more complicated to distribute?). ... ... It sure looks like some Roth conversions are in ...
by bsteiner
Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax-managed strategy for my mother-in-law's account?
Replies: 7
Views: 523

Re: where should i pay taxes from?

Perfect timing. There is an article on this subject in the current issue of the American Bar Association Taxation Section's Newsquarterly: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publishing/newsquarterly/15win/wang-ptr-is-it-worthwhile-to-realize-capital-gains-nq-winter-2015.authcheckdam.pdf. I j...
by bsteiner
Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: where should i pay taxes from?
Replies: 24
Views: 1645

Re: Better to leave qualified or non-qualified money to kids

The best way to view a traditional IRA is that it's part the government's (the tax rate) and part yours (1 minus the tax rate), and the income and gains on your part are tax-free. You've correctly analyzed this. The taxable account gets a stepped-up basis at death, while the traditional IRA doesn't....
by bsteiner
Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better to leave qualified or non-qualified money to kids?
Replies: 14
Views: 1368

Re: Rejected from disability insurance

Does the American Medical Association or your state medical association or society offer disability insurance? Sometimes it's easier to get coverage through these plans than if you buy it outside these plans.
by bsteiner
Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rejected from disability insurance
Replies: 18
Views: 1910

Re: Retirement Plan for Small Business...SEP IRA or SIMPLE I

You might want to consult with an actuarial firm who can help design a plan that will best accomplish your objectives.

The lawyer who handles your estate planning should know some actuaries who deal with small company plans.
by bsteiner
Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Plan for Small Business...SEP IRA or SIMPLE IRA
Replies: 23
Views: 1239

Re: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.

... The dinner probably cost $25 x 40 people, $1,000 for the event. If he signs up 1 person @ $250k @ 3%, that is $7500, he's way ahead. ... It depends on the hotel or restaurant, but it might cost more than $25 per person, especially if it's in a hotel, or if it's in a private room in a restaurant...
by bsteiner
Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.
Replies: 100
Views: 8115

Re: For those who have living trusts...

I would definitely establish a living trust, unless perhaps you are in one of the few states where probate is really cheap and easy.... I would suggest the opposite. I woulld recommend one where there's a particular reason for doing so in a given case, of if someone is in a state where probating a ...
by bsteiner
Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For those who have living trusts...
Replies: 43
Views: 4757

Re: Merrill Edge Screws Up My Roth IRA And Won't Fix It

The deadline for a rollover is 60 days. However, the IRS has discretion to waive the 60-day deadline. See this from the IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Retirement-Plans-FAQs-relating-to-Waivers-of-the-60-Day-Rollover-Requirement. We've obtained a number of private letter rulings wai...
by bsteiner
Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Edge Screws Up My Roth IRA And Won't Fix It
Replies: 9
Views: 980

Re: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.

...$100,000 invested in the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, Admiral Shares, on 30 Sept. 1998 would have grown to $252,639.40 by 30 Sept., 2014--not the $188,000 they said, and more than the $210,000 they claimed for their annuity ... The difference is greater after income taxes. Of the $152,639.40 income ...
by bsteiner
Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.
Replies: 100
Views: 8115

Re: Telecommuter tax

The $400 was referring to the CPAs fee. I realize I will potentially be owing the sate of ny several thousands (despite not using any of their roads, hospitals, public services etc for the last 6months) I was referring to the cost of having someone research the issue, not the cost of preparing the ...
by bsteiner
Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Telecommuter tax
Replies: 5
Views: 720

Re: Telecommuter tax

... Would you consult a tax professional? I have always done my own taxes and would like to avoid another $400 on top of my tax bill but I also want to make sure that I am understanding the code properly. ... I think you left off a zero at the end of the number you mentioned. You might want to look...
by bsteiner
Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Telecommuter tax
Replies: 5
Views: 720

Re: Trusts and/or Special needs trust reading material

See #4 for what control means for this purpose. It does not include the power to make distributions to himself/herself.
by bsteiner
Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trusts and/or Special needs trust reading material
Replies: 3
Views: 374

Re: Trusts and/or Special needs trust reading material

Since you're still alive, you can change your Will. Some things to consider are: 1. Who do you want as the trustees? 2. How are the successor trustees to be selected? For example, you could provide that the last acting trustee can name co-trustees or successor trustees, and that the trustees, acting...
by bsteiner
Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trusts and/or Special needs trust reading material
Replies: 3
Views: 374

Re: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.

We are new retirees and have received these free dinner offers for years.It has always been on financial issues. We did attend a couple of seminars but never took the bait. As snowbirds we smiled when we recently read an ad in the local Florida paper offering a free dinner and seminar. ... If you g...
by bsteiner
Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.
Replies: 100
Views: 8115

Re: Estate planning - splitting assets and testamentary trus

Without knowing more about their assets, it's not possible to say whether this would be a good plan. However, if it is, or if it's what they want, they could change the ownership of their assets to tenants in common. That would enable them to divide their assets in a way that would have the least im...
by bsteiner
Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning - splitting assets and testamentary trusts
Replies: 4
Views: 515

Re: US citizen vs green card

There is no gift tax marital deduction (though there's a $147,000 annual exclusion in 2015) for gifts to noncitizen spouses. Bequests to noncitizen spouses don't qualify for the marital deduction unless they're in the form of a qualified domestic trust (QDOT). A QDOT will be included in the first sp...
by bsteiner
Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US citizen vs green card
Replies: 34
Views: 3067

Re: $1 and $2 foreign tax paid - file? refundable credit?

They can carry their unused foreign tax credits back one year and forward 10 years under Internal Revenue Code Section 904(c). So if they can't use the credit for the current year or the previous year, they may be able to use the credit at some point during the next 10 years. Whether it's worth the ...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $1 and $2 foreign tax paid - file? refundable credit?
Replies: 6
Views: 597

Re: Transfer on death plan or Go to dreaded probate?

We did visit an Atty in 2012 before the estate tax uncertainty ended and the recommendation was for a perpetual trust which my family member was very uncomfortable with. Their desire is to distribute assets immediately upon death and trust the Benes to do well or ill accordingly. To the extent a te...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transfer on death plan or Go to dreaded probate?
Replies: 6
Views: 870

Re: QuitClaim Deed

ArthurO wrote:... nothing personal, but I hate attorneys ....


I'm a lawyer, and I also live in New Jersey. I hope if we meet at one of the local chapter meetings you won't hate me.
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: QuitClaim Deed
Replies: 36
Views: 2663

Re: Looking for trust investment advice

... since different states have different ways of determining when a trust is taxable as a resident trust, there are often ways to arrange for a trust not to be taxable in any state. Can you discuss how to avoid state taxes in a trust? Any articles that discuss this? ... Some states treat a trust a...
by bsteiner
Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for trust investment advice
Replies: 8
Views: 449

Re: Transfer on death plan or Go to dreaded probate?

Assuming someone was just under the threshold to worry about estate taxes (5-10 million total account size) and was older, would you use a TOD to simplify things and avoid probate? Main downside is if you have per stirpes intentions in your will .... So main question is, is probate really that bad?...
by bsteiner
Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transfer on death plan or Go to dreaded probate?
Replies: 6
Views: 870

Re: Looking for trust investment advice

You may want to run the numbers to compare the following three choices: 1. Ignoring any other items, if you sell all at once, you'll incur 20% capital gains tax plus 3.8% net investment income tax on the capital gain above $12,300. This will reduce the expenses on the entire portfolio immediately. T...
by bsteiner
Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for trust investment advice
Replies: 8
Views: 449

Re: Estate planning for parents, trying to push forward

... My mother was given the name of a lawyer from a friend. We haven't called yet, but the website states that they(the office is one lawyer and one paralegal) work with older persons, disabled persons, family, and caregivers. After a bit of explanation of these areas, it states that they also emph...
by bsteiner
Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning for parents, trying to push forward
Replies: 5
Views: 834

Re: SF Bay Area Living Trust Attorney Recommendation

I'll start contracting these attorneys and also check if they're part of my group legal plan. .... Unless you're net worth is modest and your situation is very basic, the ones in the group plan are probably not the ones you would want, any more than you should want the ones who are happy to provide...
by bsteiner
Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Living Trust Attorney Recommendation
Replies: 16
Views: 891

Re: SF Bay Area Living Trust Attorney Recommendation

...You can ask for a free initial consultation and estimate as to how much it will cost to do the things you want/need. ... If you ask for a free initial consultation, the lawyers who will give you one are probably not the ones you want. The initial meeting is often a significant portion of the wor...
by bsteiner
Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Living Trust Attorney Recommendation
Replies: 16
Views: 891

Re: Estate planning for parents, trying to push forward

... I'm encouraging my late-60's parents to start their estate planning in earnest. .... The most complicated aspect is that my brother is somewhat mentally disabled, also with some health issues .... In the meantime, the immediate plan is that I go with my parents to their first visit to an elder ...
by bsteiner
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning for parents, trying to push forward
Replies: 5
Views: 834

Re: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement

The required withdrawal percentage goes up as your life expectancy goes down; the first year it's about 3.65%; when you're 71, it goes up to 3.77%, and so on. Let's suppose that you're in the middle of the 15% bracket for your first withdrawal. You take out more than the required 3.65% Next year, w...
by bsteiner
Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement
Replies: 79
Views: 7145

Re: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement

The Wizard wrote:... if all your income is taxable would you rather be in the 15% federal tax bracket or the 28% tax bracket? ...


I would prefer to be in the 39.6% Federal bracket.
by bsteiner
Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement
Replies: 79
Views: 7145

Re: Feedback please: Lump Sum vs Pension

The pension gives you an annuity at a much better price than if you had to buy one from an insurance company, since the insurance company has to cover its expenses, retain reserves, and make a profit. The lump sum gives you more control and flexibility. The lump sum allows for the possibility of a R...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feedback please: Lump Sum vs Pension
Replies: 8
Views: 789

Re: Should parents setup Revocable Living Trust?

Colorado doesn't require ancillary probate. Colorado Code §§ 15-13-204 and 15-13-205: https://law.resource.org/pub/us/code/co/colorado.xml.older/code11.15.html. Hawaii is a Uniform Probate Code state, so the procedures there should be simple. Given the value of their estate, not only should they pro...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should parents setup Revocable Living Trust?
Replies: 8
Views: 925

Re: Should parents setup Revocable Living Trust?

Revocable trusts do not save (or cost) estate taxes. Revocable trusts generally do not save (or cost) income taxes. Revocable trusts are overhyped and oversold, and for most people, in most states, aren't worth the effort. The one factor that might suggest a revocable trust in this case, at least fo...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should parents setup Revocable Living Trust?
Replies: 8
Views: 925

Re: Two CSR Fed Employees Retiring 2015 - Need Input Please!

Have you put up to 10% of your after tax lifetime federal income into a Voluntary Contribution Account for each of you? This is a special provision available for CSRS employees and when you have completed your contributions to the Vol Contribution Account, you can roll it over into a Roth IRA for e...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two CSRS Fed Employees Retiring 2015 - Need Input Please!
Replies: 45
Views: 2740

Re: CP2000’s for 2011-12, HRB’s error. Time to switch?

...I don’t think I have a particularly complex return. I file jointly with my wife, and we have one daughter. I’m not sure if we’re in the top tax bracket, but we’re close. ... The top bracket for a married couple begins at $457,600 of taxable income, so if you're in or close to the top bracket, an...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CP2000’s for 2011-12, HRB’s error. Time to switch?
Replies: 8
Views: 527

Re: Downside of putting condo in a trust

... if in Ohio I'd highly recommend considering a transfer on death (TOD) deed if avoiding Probate is the main goal. While a few states allow transfer on death (TOD) deeds, there are a few reasons not to do them. 1. Probating a Will is generally not particularly difficult, expensive or burdensome. ...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downside of putting condo in a trust
Replies: 29
Views: 2875

Re: A quick poll--pension annuity vs. lump sum

... The use of "fair" is clearly defined as, will the lump sum buy the annuity? It is not stated as a choice. ... At a fair price, the lump sum wouldn't buy the annuity, since the insurance company has to cover its expenses and establish reserves, and may want to make a profit. I would vi...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A quick poll--pension annuity vs. lump sum
Replies: 62
Views: 3834

Re: Downside of putting condo in a trust

...I am in CA and have a revocable trust to avoid probate... no asset protection, no other discernible advantages. .... Revocable trusts are common in California for reasons specific to California. I don't practice in California, but people there say that there is more court involvement in estates ...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downside of putting condo in a trust
Replies: 29
Views: 2875

Re: Help with a variable annuity

yankeefan4065 wrote:...A small part of her portfolio (about 5%) is in a variable annuity (Prudential ASXT6) sold to her by her tax advisor in 2007. ...


Why would a tax advisor recommend an annuity?
by bsteiner
Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Update...Help with a variable annuity
Replies: 30
Views: 1281

Re: Great Krugman column on Swiss currency debacle

If the Swiss franc continues to be this strong, it might be worth holding Swiss francs even at -0.75% interest.

Are there any mattress companies in Switzerland that are publicly traded?
by bsteiner
Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great Krugman column on Swiss currency debacle
Replies: 8
Views: 1244

Re: UGMA/UTMA to save taxes - can I do this?

freddie wrote:Cost basis goes up on death not gifting. ...


The basis is increased by the portion of the gift tax allocable to the appreciation. Before 1977, the basis was increased (but not beyond the value at the time of the gift) by the entire amount of the gift tax. Internal Revenue Code Section 1015.
by bsteiner
Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: UGMA/UTMA to save taxes - can I do this?
Replies: 11
Views: 774
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