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The Cost of Bad Advice

When Shakespeare said (spoken by a character in Henry VI) “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” it was actually a complement to the profession. It was suggested as a way to undermine the government, and lawyers were viewed in high regard, as keepers of the law. I was going to offer [...]

Still Have a Trust?

A few weeks ago, I talked about the end of estate planning. It might have been a bit of an over-reaction to the news that the estate exemption was made a permanent, inflation-adjusted figure of $5.25M for 2013. Perhaps I was jumping to conclusions as there are a number of reasons one may want a [...]

The End of Estate Planning?

Not quite, but close to it for many taxpayers. As part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012, a benefit you may appreciate has been slipped in, a ‘permanent’ fix to the estate tax issue. First, here ‘permanent’ simply means a provision that has no sunset date, no automatic falling off the tax [...]

Bad Estate Planning

Sometimes an example of a financial mistake is an easier way to deliver an important bit of advice than the usual soapbox lecture. Given the recent changes back to old style of estate taxes and the step up in basis the beneficiary enjoys, it seems timely to share this story with my readers. The house [...]

Another Thought on the Estate Tax

Sometimes, a reader’s comment will be so insightful that it’s a shame to let it get buried in a comment section many may not see.  This is such a comment, by my longtime reader Elle. She also shares her knowledge at the Usenet group misc.taxes.moderated where I am one of the mods. This ‘guest post’ [...]

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