Was Dumb Starbucks Smart?
Comedian Nathan Fielder created a media stir, and long lines, when he opened a coffee shop called Dumb Starbucks. The establishment was quickly closed down for not having a permit. In the short time that the shop was open, legal commentators everywhere speculated about whether Starbucks would sue for trademark infringement, and if it did, how the case would turn out. The shop looked virtually … Read More
I Received a 1099 from My Home Equity Lender- What Steps do I need to Take?
Tax Consequences of Foreclosure-with a HELOC
It is common for homeowners to have a house that is "upside down", many with first and second mortgages. Houses that were purchased a number of years ago appreciated rapidly in a short period of time and it was easy to pull on the home's equity by securing an equity line of credit. That equity may have been used for many purposes, including home improvements, … Read More
I Received a 1099 from My Lender, Now What?
Tax Consequences of Foreclosure or Short Sale of Personal Residence in Arizona
It is difficult to read any economic news or watch a local TV news program without seeing the prevalence of foreclosures and short sales of personal residences in Arizona. It is not uncommon in today's economic crisis to own a home that was purchased in the last five years that is substantially "upside down". Many … Read More
Estate Tax Laws Warrant Exclusion and Portability in Planning
The new estate laws are challenging to comply with and will require most high net worth individuals to review their existing plan. One of the major issues is how the trust is divided on the death of the first spouse, and who makes certain elections. There are other critical decisions that need to be made to protect assets and minimize or delay estate taxes.
Prior Exclusion and 2013 Change
Estate tax was … Read More
Section 529 Plans - Qualified Tuition Program: College Savings Plans that the IRS Embraces
As higher education costs continue to escalate, parents or grandparents may look to different savings vehicles for their children's college fund. The IRS, under section 529, provides parents with the opportunity for a higher education savings plan.
There are two sets of tax rules for 529 plans (the "Plan"). One relates to the income taxation of the owner and the beneficiary of the Plan, while the … Read More
In a volatile economic climate, such as the current economic downturn, there is a significant increase in litigation cases and bankruptcy filings. When economic times flourish, people focus on acquiring assets and doing "deals". During slower times, people may look for an opportunity to protect their assets from potential creditors' claims. There are planning tools - entity selection, separation of personal and … Read More
When Do I Need a New Will?
You may think you don't need a will because you don't have many assets. However, if you don't have a will, the state could determine who gets your property and even who will take care of your children should both you and your spouse die at the same time. Many changes and events occur during your lifetime and if you have experienced any of the following life events recently, it is a good time to prepare a will or … Read More
Having It, Holding It, & Sharing It
A variety of charitable gifting techniques are available during your lifetime and as part of your estate plan. Depending on your income, or the size of your estate, you may find tax savings so significant after making a charitable gift that the net after tax effect is minimal.
Here is a summary of some of planning ideas which will help you start your charitable gifting program.
Charitable Giving & Taxes
The … Read More
Funding Long-Term Care Without Draining Your Estate
Start Now, Before Your Options Become Limited
Good news: Thanks to medical advances in the past few decades, you - and your parents, if they're still alive - will probably live longer than previous generations.
Bad news: The cost of living in a nursing home for a year, now averaging around $51,000, will triple over the next 20 years, according to the General Accounting Office. So will the cost of other … Read More
For the Person Who Wants to Avoid Probate and Reduce Estate Taxes
Simple Rules to Avoid Probate. In Arizona, any assets that are held in your name outright must be probated to pass to the next generation or your intended beneficiaries heir(s). This includes property held as community property and tenants in common. However, there are many assets that never pass through a probate. For example, retirement plan benefits, IRA's and life insurance proceeds pass directly to the named … Read More