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10. Estate and Gift Tax – Part 1

This is part 10 in my series, Estate Planning – What You Need to Know. Part 10. Estate and Gift Tax - Part 1 The estate tax, aka the death tax, and the gift tax are separate but related. Let’s start with the estate tax. Estate Tax The estate tax is the tax the federal and state government levies on your estate when you die. The tax is based on the value…

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Consumer Report Says Legal Zoom Doesn’t Cut It

Consumer Reports says document production sites like Legal Zoom, Nolo and Rocket Lawyer can't hold a candle to a real lawyer. For a fraction of what you’d pay a lawyer, websites such as LegalZoom, Nolo, and Rocket Lawyer can help you create your own will, power of attorney, and other important legal documents. But can they really save you a visit to a lawyer? We recently evaluated those three services. Using their…

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9. Other Documents You Need

This is part 9 in my series, Estate Planning – What You Need to Know. Part 9 - Other Documents You Need. Pour-Over Will When you create a revocable living trust as the central piece of your estate plan, you should also include a pour-over will. A revocable living trust only controls property that you have transferred to it. If you die without transferring your property to the trust, such as real…

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8. You Can Give Your Children Divorce and Asset Protection

This is part 8 in my series, Estate Planning – What You Need to Know. Part 8 - You Can Give Your Children Divorce and Asset Protection. Of the thousands of clients I’ve worked with, most know how they want to distribute their assets when they die:  For married couples, it’s usually to the surviving spouse and then in equal shares to their children.  For a divorced client or widow, it’s usually…

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