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The Golden Age of Trusts

The Golden Age of Trusts image

One of the unintended consequences of the new federal tax law, is that it makes enormous tax savings possible for those willing and able to get creative with trust formation.

If you have read anything about the recently passed tax cuts President Trump signed, you have probably read that a few of the changes seem relatively simple. Under the new law, the estate tax exemption limit is doubled to $11 million for an individual and $22 million for a married couple.

The major complication is that the exemption limit is scheduled to return to previous levels in a few years....

Elder Care Expenses

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Families that provide care for elderly relatives face large expenses. There are a few tax breaks that can help to defray some of the costs.

When it comes to caring for its elderly population, the U.S. has begun to enter something of a crisis zone. Many people are aware of pending challenges facing government programs, such as Social Security and Medicare. Those programs will either need to soon find more funding or be restructured.

There are other difficulties that tend to be under the radar, when it comes to caring for the elderly.

One example of that is increasing life...

The Lottery's Dark Side

The Lottery's Dark Side image

People who suddenly inherit wealth and who do not know how to handle it, can face many difficulties. For lottery winners, sudden wealth can bring even more trouble.

One of the key principles in estate planning is this: it is not a good idea to leave heirs a great amount of wealth outright, especially if they are not already wealthy. People who do inherit wealth like that, tend to fall victim to many different traps.

They often waste the wealth on frivolous items. They gamble. They fall for the schemes of people who seek to manage the wealth for their...

Trust Language Is Very Important

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One of the reasons that you should not try to create your own trust, is that the specific language in the trust can make a very big difference in how the trust will be enforced.

It is now relatively easy to have a trust drawn up. You can even do it yourself, with the help of downloadable forms that can be purchased online. A cottage industry even exists to encourage people to go this route.

By going to a website, answering a few questions and making a small payment, people can quickly get a revocable living trust that can serve...

Brooke Astor's Grandson Still Works to Fight Elder Abuse

Brooke Astor's Grandson Still Works to Fight Elder Abuse image

The man at the center of one of the most famous elder abuse cases in the country, Phillip Marshall, still works to prevent elder abuse.

A few years ago, a major scandal hit New York’s high society. Brooke Astor, a wealthy heiress, was in cognitive decline. She had wanted to leave her vast fortune to charitable causes and her son, Anthony Marshall, was charged with scheming to take advantage for his own financial benefit. He might have been successful, if not for the efforts of his own son, Phillip Marshall, who blew the whistle and who was ultimately successful in...