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Asset Sheltering and Financial Aid

It’s that time of year – time to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid used by more than 99% of public universities. Many parents take the “why bother” approach.  “We have too much money.  We’ll never get any aid.” The first thought is usually “why did I have kids” while the second, [...]

Summary of Tax Changes

This chart does a nice job showing the prior laws, the competing Senate/House proposals for change and how things were resolved during the reconciliation process to create the new laws to go into effect beginning in 2018. Missing from the chart is discussion of the changes to §529s.  Previously distributions in order to qualify for [...]

Highlights of House Tax Proposal

Yesterday members of the House of Representatives announced their version of income tax reform.  The Senate is expected to offer its own version as early as next week. Assuming each passes without changes (and that’s a big assumption) there will still likely be changes as the legislation moves through the reconciliation process before being presented [...]

Tell Them What They Want To Hear

Should a financial relationship be about doing what’s right or feeling good?  The former, right?  Not so fast. A survey by index zealots DFA found the #1 thing valued in receiving financial guidance is a “sense of security / peace of mind.”  Not that that’s a bad thing of course but at 35% of respondents [...]

End of the Stretch IRA?

The powerful tax-deferral tool is likely nearing its end. WHAT IS STRETCHING: Sustaining and maximizing the tax-deferred status of an IRA when the beneficiary is a non-spouse such as a child. WHO LIKES IT: Beneficiaries who accrue years of compounded, tax-deferred growth while minimizing the Present Value of the liability (i.e. $1 in the future [...]

If You Don’t Have a Plan the Government Has One for You

According to a recent study by caring.com just 40% of U.S. adults have a will (including only 36% of U.S. adults who have children under the age of 18). What’s more only 53% of U.S. adults have a healthcare power of attorney (“POA”). What’s the big deal? Without a will or similar trust agreement decisions [...]

Special Needs Trust Fairness Act Becomes Law

Special Needs Trusts (“SNTs”) are a common estate planning tool used to improve the quality of life of individuals with special needs. When properly drafted they integrate with governmental benefits ensuring assets are used to supplement (rather than disqualify an individual for) governmental benefits. On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures [...]