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
How You Hold Title to Real Property May Create a Real Life Problem
If you were a married couple living Arizona, you had three options as how to hold the title to real property in Arizona. The choices were:
joint tenants with right of survivorship ("JTWROS") and
tenants in common.
Now, under A.R.S. § 33-431, there is a fourth option - community property with right of survivorship ("CPWROS").
Prior to the existence of CPWROS, if … Read More
Transfer of Small Estates without Probate in Arizona
Effective September 2013, small estates in Arizona increased in the value of assets that may be transferred without requiring a probate of the decedent's estate.
On April 16, 2013, Governor Jan Brewer signed into law Senate Bill 1232, which amends A.R.S. §14-3971 governing the collection of personal property, vehicles, and succession to real property by affidavit. Therefore, decedent's estates … Read More
Afterlife Identity Protection: Who to Notify When a Loved One Passes
When a loved one passes away, a crucial step in minimizing the risk of identity theft is to notify the proper entities, such as government and credit reporting agencies, banks, and creditors of your loved one's death.
To expedite notification, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) recommends that you initially make contact with government and credit reporting agencies, banks, and creditors by … Read More
Don't Make the Grave Mistake: Avoid Making Duplicative Payments for Final Services!
Have you ever considered paying in advance for your funeral/burial expenses to save your loved ones the financial burden? If your finances allow you to do so, pre-paying for funeral/burial services is an efficient and effective step in your estate planning that can alleviate the often onerous task for your loved ones to undertake while grieving. A few words of caution if you do pre-pay for funeral/ … Read More