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#1 estate planning mistake

So, you did everything you were supposed to; set up trusts and did all the rest. There was just one small mistake. You forgot to tell anyone where your will and all those other documents are. If you don’t let anyone know where your will is, it will be as if it doesn’t exist and the state will do what it wants with your property and assets.

Mark Bradstreet, C.P.A. with Bradstreet and Co. tells Cincinnatti’s Journal-News that 

“To not let anyone know where your will and documents are – if you don’t do that, then for all intents and purposes, you never had a will,” said Bradstreet. “If you die without one, the state uses their own rules to effectively come up with a will for you.”

Bradstreet recommends writing a letter to hand-out to trusted family members that include,

“where your will is at, who has got it, who is your attorney, safe deposit keys – a lot of people will go ahead and list out their different assets, and their different account numbers.”

These days there are many online ways to create a will yourself, but Bradstreet recommends working with an attorney who will help you make sure your wishes are carried out.

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4 Northeastern states sue Trump administration

Four northeastern democratic states have sued the Trump administration claiming the new federal cap on the $10,000 cap on local and state taxes is unfair and unconstitutional.

New York, New Jersey, Maryland an Connecticut say the new tax overhaul has upended 150 years of precedent and that the deductions are essential to prevent the feds from abridging constitutional states rights. New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement the new law is a result of “hyper-partisan and rushed process.” A State analysis found that the cap will increase New Yorkers taxes by $14.3 billion in 2018 an another $121 billion from 2019 to 2025.

According to the lawsuit filed yesterday in Manhattan Federal Court, the so-called SALT deduction will make it more difficult for the four states to maintain their taxation and fiscal policies, thus “hobbling their sovereign authority to make policy decisions without federal interference.”

The tax law, passed last December, caused some local governments to revise their rules to help last-minute change in federal tax strategies, while homeowners in states with the highest property taxes quickly began looking to prepay bills ahead of the cap.

In a written statement, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the federal government “went after these states deliberately” in crafting the SALT deductions cap.


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How much is rich?

More people are more rich than at any time in our history. The number of 1 percenters has exploded over the last twenty years. But how much money do you need to have to be considered rich? Bloomberg News has given us an answer: $25 million. And that’s basically “welfare” rich

According to Bloomberg, the elite private banks say $25 million is just get you in the door, rich.  To most $25 million is a non-attainablke dream but to the private bankers, it’s the basic tier.

But don’t get the idea that these bankers turn up their noses at those with just a puny few million. Bloomberg quotes Brent Beardsley of Northern trust Corp. who said 505 of their new clients have assets in excess of $10 million, “but to get to the highest level companies have raised the bar.”

What makes people rich these days has changed in the last 20 plus years. In 1994 what made someone rich was $3 million and now $25 million is high net worth.

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2018 tax calculator

Although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act didn’t affect your 2017 tax return, it will impact your 2019 returns. Here is a handy 2018 tax calculator provided by H&R Block to give you an idea of how your tax liability will change in 2019. Until then you will only notice changes in your paychecks until the bill takes full-effect in 2019.


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The $30 trillion wealth transfer

The so-called baby boomers are the wealthiest generation in American history an in the next few decades they will be transferring that wealth It’s called the great wealth transfer.

Now whether all that wealth gets transferred or not is how well boomers manage and save that money.

Hanging on to your money

The first thing is making sure you have money to pass on. You need to prepare for unforeseen circumstances that an wipe out that wealth. Healthcare is one circumstance that can wipe out your money before you know it.  Diseases and nursing home costs can zap all your money in what seems like a heartbeat. That is why long-term healthcare insurance is not only a good idea, but necessary. The premiums may be expensive but very much worth it


We’ve talked about the importance of trusts are still advocate them. That’s why we suggest setting up a living trust, that way you can manage the majority of your assets and bypass probate and get your money to your beneficiaries with the least amount of hassle.

Estate Taxes

The new overhaul of the federal tax code pretty much excludes so-called death taxes as long as your estate is less than $11 million, but you sill need to check with your state to see what if any estate taxes are charged.



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