Family Portrait At Christmas

A family member may need more than the $14,000 annual gift tax exemption allowed and a loan can sometimes be the answer. The annual gift tax exemption of $14,000 ($28,000 for a couple) is sometimes sufficient in terms of gifting money, but a specific reason for the gift could push that number higher. A loan […]

Money laundering

As end of year approaches, it is time for celebration, holiday gifts and tax planning. Tax consequences often need to be considered when it comes to giving some gifts on holidays while others—small, less expensive gifts—fall under the radar and have no major tax implications. However, what if you want to give something bigger, such […]

hospital signage

Former NBA player Lamar Odom may have made a mistake with his estate planning when he apparently didn’t consider divorce in his planning. Lamar Odom, husband of reality TV star Khloe Kardashian, was found recently near death in a Nevada brothel and may have made a mistake in his estate planning prior to the incident […]

question mark

When it comes to IRAs most couples name each other the beneficiary and the remaining spouse creates a spousal rollover. If the surviving spouse is incapacitated by an ailment such as dementia, complications can arise. What happens when end-of-life affairs are set up for a couple and one member later becomes incompetent? The potential problem […]

Elder Couple with Bills

A new bill introduced in the Senate aims at eliminating some of the wait time for an appeal to a denied Medicare claim. An appeal to a denied Medicare claim now takes approximately 547 days, according to a McKnight’s article titled “Bill would speed up Medicare claims appeal process. It was only 94 days in […]


There is an issue of U.S. property seized in Cuba more than a half century ago that may slow the attempted reconciliation with Cuba recently announced by President Obama. Despite the fact that American companies are already making plans to do business on the island, the project could be put on hold for a while. […]

Older Couple Using Webcam

Many websites now exist where an estate plan can be stored online, but a word of caution on storing a valuable plan in the cloud. A new trend in the world of estate planning was reported in a recent article in U.S. News and World Report, “Passwords and Powers of Attorney: Your Digital Estate Planning […]


The rules that allow first party special needs trusts to protect assets while receiving assistance from the government are being tightened. First party special needs trusts are established by a parent, grandparent, guardian or by court order for the sole benefit of a person with special needs. The assets of the person with special needs […]

us flags

For more than half a century after the attack on Pearl Harbor the remains from many of the victims of the attack were difficult if not impossible to identify. Many families of the victims of the attack on Pearl Harbor did not receive the remains of their loved ones to bury. By the time the […]

Happy old couple

A no contest clause is sometimes included in an estate plan when people do not want their relatives to challenge the wills and trusts. A trustee could be charged with abuse if they act in bad faith as demonstrated in a recent Virginia case. Estate planning can be difficult when blended families are involved and […]