Estate Planning

Five Clues That it’s Time to Update Your Estate Plan

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Five Clues That it’s Time to Update Your Estate Plan
Posted on: March 31st, 2017
By Hallie Zobel, Esq.

 Creating an estate plan is often an emotional exercise. For some individuals, engaging in thoughtful decision making regarding the orderly distribution of one’s assets provides a sense of peace, satisfaction, and even pride. For others, the experience may be daunting as they come face-to-face with their own sense of mortality. In either situation, once the documents have been signed, ...

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Your Funeral Wishes – Your Way

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(photo credit: Clint Brewer/Splash News)

Your Funeral Wishes − Your Way
Posted on: February 7th, 2017
By Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAccounting

You may already have estate planning documents to ensure that your worldly possessions are passed on in a manner consistent with your values and traditions. But have you thought about planning ahead to spare your loved ones from the painful task of making decisions regarding your funeral arrangements – while they are grieving?

Do ...

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The Presidential Candidates – The Federal Estate Tax and the Capital Gains Income Tax

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The Presidential Candidates, the Federal Estate Tax, and the Capital Gains Income Tax
Posted on: November 8th, 2016
By Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAccounting

Tonight, we should know who will be our next president.  While Congress passes tax legislation, the president shapes policy. What plans does Donald Trump have for the estate tax versus Hillary Clinton? How do the plans differ compared to the current rules?

Estate Tax Now

The estate tax is one of three federal transfer taxes ...

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6-Step Estate Planning Checklist for 2017

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6-Step Estate Planning Checklist for 2017
Posted on: November 7th, 2016
By Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. and Hallie Zobel, Esq.

As we enter the final quarter of 2016, we like to remind our clients, friends, and professional associates to pause and reflect on their goals (whether for themselves or for their clients) for the coming year.  To facilitate that process, we have prioritized a checklist summarizing what we consider to be ...

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Financial Literacy in Working Women Improves While Knowledge Gap Persists for Female Retirees and Widows

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Financial Literacy in Working Women Improves While Knowledge Gap Persists for Female Retirees and Widows
Posted on: August 2nd, 2016
By Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAccounting

Recent studies reveal that financial capability among working women is improving, but closing the financial literacy gap has a long way to go as it relates to retired women and older widows. Women will be alone and in charge of themselves for a long period of time. But statistics show that women ...

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Coping with an Unexpected Death in Your Home

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Coping with an Unexpected Death in Your Home
Posted on: August 1st, 2016
By Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAccounting

Death often comes without warning. Returning home to find that a loved one has passed away unexpectedly can be traumatizing and leave you in a state of shock and disbelief. Your ability to think clearly is compromised as stress levels rise, and stress affects your ability to make quick decisions. Confusion sets in. You panic. What should you do? ...

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Who Will Raise My Children if I Die Without Naming a Guardian?

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Who Will Raise My Children if I Die Without Naming a Guardian?
Posted on: July 28th, 2016
By Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAccounting

For parents, the summer months are a welcome change in routine. Families go on vacation, children enjoy day camp, and grandparents are excited to give busy parents a much-needed break. Although summer provides a time to relax and enjoy family activities, it’s also the ideal time for parents to ask themselves, “Who will raise our ...

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Who Will Inherit Prince’s $150 Million Estate?

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Who Will Inherit Prince’s $150 Million Estate?
Posted on: April 27th, 2016
By Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAccounting

Prince dies without estate planning for $150 Million Estate.According to TMZ.com, Prince died without a Last Will and Testament.  If true, this means that Prince died “intestate.”

Oh, U Got the Look  – stop judging.  The majority of Americans age 55 to 64 don’t have wills.  However, the majority of Americans aren’t worth Prince’s estimated $150 ...

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If an Estate Plan Were a Car: Understanding Will-Based vs. Trust-Based Planning

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If an Estate Plan Were a Car: Understanding Will-Based vs. Trust-Based Planning
Posted on: April 13th, 2016
By Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAccounting

If you are confused about the differences between a will-based estate plan and a trust-based estate plan, you’re not alone.

According to a recent informal survey we conducted of a group of Central Florida seniors over the age of fifty, 65 percent of those completing the survey indicated they were confused about the topic and would ...

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