Just Leave It Alone?

As many will recall, then candidate Trump promised to eliminate the estate tax. That was then. This is now–he’s the President. What will he actually do? Will he also eliminate the estate tax’s two siblings: the gift tax and the generation skipping tax? No one knows, though many people care, especially those who preach tax fairness.

Given that married couples currently have to be worth almost $11 million dollars before  the estate tax kicks in–it’s more complicated than that, but still–eliminating the estate tax is going to help only the very, very wealthy. And maybe that’s a bad (or a good) thing.

I’m here to argue for the advisor. Estate planning attorneys, life insurance and investment advisors, CPAs and financial planners. I’m betting that each and every one of them agree with the following:

Because the estate tax generates a meager 0.005 percent of annual tax collections, according to I.R.S. figures, it generates far more political debate than federal revenue. And among many tax planners, the calls aren’t so much for reform as for stability, or at least a period of benign neglect.

“Just leave it alone so we can plan,” Mr. Jenney said. “But every administration seems to want to put their own twist on the estate tax.”

Estate Planning Seminar at Pleasant Grove Library

I’ll be presenting a seminar on DIY — Do It Yourself — Estate Planning at the Pleasant Grove Library on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 7 PM. Come an enjoy the discussion. The address is 30 E Center St, Pleasant Grove.

If you have a question about wills, trusts, and other aspects of estate planning, maybe I can answer it.

Quote for the Day

“Even though you’ve paid taxes that help fund Medicaid for all your working years, you shouldn’t aspire to get a return on that “investment.” Medicaid is a program for people with minimal income and assets; if you have to use it, you’re in bad shape. Eligibility guidelines vary by state because Medicaid is a joint federal-state program. But to give you an idea, getting Medicaid through ACCESS Florida as an individual who is 65 or older and needs long-term care requires that your monthly income be no higher than $2,199 and your assets be no more than $2,000 ($5,000 in some cases).”

Any Fontinelle, Investopedia

Social Security: Myths Debunked?

That’s the claim in this piece by the Motley Fool.

  • Myth 1: Social Security benefits will disappear in the future.
  • Myth 2: You should always take Social Security benefits as soon as you qualify.
  • Myth 3: What you do with your Social Security has no effect on your family.

I won’t take time here to review the answers. The article linked to is short enough to read in a few minutes. But there’s little doubt that Social Security is on the minds of more and more people–aka Baby Boomers–and rightly so.

By the way, the piece ends with a paragraph bearing this heading: The $15,978 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook. I clicked on the link and, well, I found the sales pitch pretty compelling. Unfortunately (fortunately?) the link to the thing being sold was down, so I can’t say more. I will when I have a chance to read more.

 

Farmers 1, Insurer 0

Insurer Must Provide Defense for Farms Accused of Spraying Pesticide on Neighbor.

Two key paragraphs:

Rejecting an insurer’s arguments that multiple exclusions operated to preclude coverage, a Florida federal court judge ruled that two farms are entitled to a defense for a lawsuit accusing them of spraying pesticide on a neighboring farm.

and

The order was not a total victory for the insureds, however, as the court said the duty to indemnify remains unresolved, leaving an award for attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in defense of the declaratory action premature. The judge denied the motion for those attorneys’ fees and costs without prejudice, allowing the sugar farms to renew their request later in the litigation.

The Wyoming State Bar does not certify any lawyer as a specialist or expert. Anyone considering a lawyer should independently investigate the lawyer’s credentials and ability, and not rely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. This website is an advertisement.