Maybe you have seen those will-in-a-box kits. Maybe you have even considered picking one up. Think twice about that. While you can draft a will on your own, there are plenty of reasons why you may not want to go that route. Most people do it to save money, but they may overlook or
Naming a minor as a beneficiary brings up a major concern. If parents or grandparents make a child a primary or contingent beneficiary of an insurance policy, IRA or investment account, they should be aware that most policies and investments will not directly transfer to a minor. They need to be received by a
Many are the stories of family wealth lost. In the late 19th century, industrial tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt amassed the equivalent of $100 billion in today’s dollars – but when 120 of his descendants met at a family gathering in 1973, there were no millionaires among them. His fortune eroded within two generations of his passing.1,2
All too often, family wealth fails to last. One generation builds a business – or even a fortune – and it is lost in ensuing decades. Why does it happen, again and again? It is because families fall prey to serious money blunders – old and new. Classic mistakes are made, and changing
“How can I avoid the federal gift tax?” If this question is on your mind, you aren’t alone. The good news is that few taxpayers or estates will ever have to pay it. Misconceptions surround this tax. The IRS sets both a yearly gift tax exclusion amount and a lifetime gift tax exemption amount,
Should you rely on “will power” to bequeath assets? The more complex your estate, the more ill-advised that choice becomes. Having only a will in place when you die may not be enough. As MarketWatch noted recently, research from the Williams Group (a major estate planning firm) indicates that estate fights reduce inherited wealth
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