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Do You Understand Social Security?

Do You Understand Social Security? image

To get the most out of Social Security benefits, it is very important that older Americans understand how the system works, before they start to get benefits. An alarming number do not.

On the surface, Social Security is a fairly simple concept to grasp. People pay into it, while they are working. When they retire, they then get paid benefits that are based on their income, when they were working. This seems simple enough. However, what the federal government does is often not that simple.

Social Security is actually a very complex system with all sorts of different rules people...

Generation Skipping Transfer Taxes

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When creating an estate plan, it is important you keep in mind the generation-skipping transfer tax.

In part, the federal estate tax is intended to make it, so wealth does not accumulate in one family indefinitely. It may be questionable how well the idea works. However, the idea is that as property passes down from succeeding generations in a family, the government will take a cut at each generation. People have often found ways around this.

One way around it, is by arranging for the inheritance to skip generations within a family. Instead of leaving property to their children, wealthy...

Read the Disclaimer

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Before you decide to use the forms of an online service for your legal documents, you should read the disclaimer on the website.

Some websites make it very easy to get legal documents prepared. All you do is pay a small fee, download some forms, read the directions and fill in the blanks on the form.

You can get all sorts of legal documents this way. This includes everything from starting a business to getting a will to getting divorce documents. Doing things this way, seems cheaper than going to an attorney to get the documents prepared. As a result,...

Are Your Heirs Ready?

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People who inherit a lot of wealth and are not ready to deal with it, can run into a lot of problems.

Everyone is aware that it is not a good idea to let minor children inherit a lot of wealth and leave them to manage it on their own. The money would likely be wasted, and the children might then lack any motivation to go to school and get a job.

This is so obvious to people, that the law does not even allow it. If minors are left a large inheritance, the court will appoint someone to manage...

Probate and the Problem with Cryptocurrency

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The death of Matthew Mellon shows how a lack of planning can cause problems for an estate that contains a lot of cryptocurrency.

At the age of 21, Matthew Mellon, a member of the famous family of bankers, inherited $25 million through a trust that was created for him. Illustrating the dangers of giving that much money to someone so young, Mellon was not cautious with the money and developed a costly habit.

He recently passed away on the way to rehab, at the age of 54. If that was the entire story Mellon would be a good cautionary tale...