For the Love of Your Family

Articles to LIFT Your Family

Q&A: Can I tap into my retirement savings to pay for my child’s college education?

Q & A: QUESTION ______________________________________________________________________________ Q: Can I tap into my retirement savings to pay for my child’s college education? —Pondering Parent   ANSWER ______________________________________________________________________________ A: Dear Pondering: If your kids will need financial assistance, beyond student loans, to pay for their college education, it’s vital that the way in which you choose to save […]

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Q&A: What is the “contestability period” on a life insurance policy?

Q & A: QUESTION ______________________________________________________________________________ Q: What is the “contestability period” on a life insurance policy? —New Beneficiary   ANSWER ______________________________________________________________________________ A: Dear Beneficiary: Most life insurance policies contain a contestability period. Such periods are typically between one to two years, and if the insured dies during this period, the insurance company can investigate the […]

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Q&A Should the person I pick as my trustee have a background in law or finance?

Q & A: QUESTION ______________________________________________________________________________ Q: Should the person I pick as trustee of my living trust have a background in law or finance? —Trust Planner   ANSWER ______________________________________________________________________________ A: Dear Planner: The person you choose to serve as trustee for your trust does NOT have to have a background or experience in law, finance, […]

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Q&A What is the IRS’s “Rule of 55” for 401(k) plans?

Q & A: QUESTION ______________________________________________________________________________ Q: What is the IRS’s “Rule of 55” for 401(k) plans? -Ready to Retire   ANSWER ____________________________________________________________________________ Dear Ready: Although you generally must wait until age 59½ to make withdrawals from your 401(k) without incurring a 10% early-withdrawal penalty, the IRS allows for a separation of service exception for certain […]

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Q&A: What is “diminished financial capacity”?

Q & A: QUESTION ______________________________________________________________________________ Q: What is “diminished financial capacity,” and why is it so dangerous for seniors? —Concerned Caretaker ANSWER ______________________________________________________________________________ A: Dear Concerned: The National Institute on Aging estimates that nearly half of all Americans will develop some form of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, during their lifetime. And while the cognitive […]

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Q&A How much can I write off on my 2021 income taxes for charitable donations?

Q & A: ______________________________________________________________________________ Q: How much can I write off on my 2021 income taxes for charitable donations if I don’t itemize? -Tax Filer   ANSWER ______________________________________________________________________________ A: Dear Filer:   To increase charitable giving during the pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allowed for up to a $300 deduction […]

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Q&A How can I determine how much life insurance I should have?

Q & A: ______________________________________________________________________________ Q: How can I determine how much life insurance I should have?  —Family Planner ANSWER ______________________________________________________________________________ A: Dear Planner: When purchasing life insurance, you’ll want to make certain you have enough term life insurance to cover the expenses that your dependents will require until they are no longer dependents—or until you […]

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Q&A: How does buying or selling a business affect my estate plan?

Q: How does buying or selling a business affect my estate plan? –Business Buyer ANSWER ______________________________________________________________________________ Dear Buyer: If you are buying a business, you’ll want to ensure your plan is updated to take into account your new assets and put in place a succession plan for the business. Indeed, for every business you own, […]

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Q&A: How does the proposed tax bill affect federal estate and gift tax?

Q: How does the Democrat’s newly proposed tax bill affect the federal estate and gift tax exclusion? -Concerned Planner ANSWER ______________________________________________________________________________ Dear Concerned: The new bill would reduce the federal estate and gift tax exclusion from its current level of $11.7 million for individuals and $23.4 million for married couples to its 2010 level of […]

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Q&A: How does the administration of a will work?

Q: How does the administration of a will work? -Family Planner ANSWER ______________________________________________________________________________ Dear Planner: In order for assets in a will to be transferred to a beneficiary, the will must first pass through the court process known as probate. During probate, the court oversees the will’s administration, ensuring your assets are distributed according to […]

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Q&A: What is a pet trust, and how does it work?

Q: What is a pet trust, and how does it work? -Doggy Daddy ANSWER ______________________________________________________________________________ A: Dear Doggy, While it’s possible to name a caregiver and leave them funding for your pet in a will, a will cannot guarantee the new caregiver will use the funds properly. In fact, a person who’s left a pet […]

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