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April, 2010: Estate Planning You Can ... and Should ... Do in 2010

With the current economy and uncertainty about the federal estate tax, many people are finding themselves sitting on the fence, wondering if they should do any estate planning now, or if they should wait. You may be surprised to know that there are many non-tax reasons to plan your estate that have nothing to do with the economy or estate taxes. And if your estate may be subject to estate taxes in the future, this year can be a perfect time for many people to plan, specifically because of historically low interest rates and changes that have been proposed by the IRS and Congress.

Let's look first at planning needs that are not related to the economy or to the estate tax.

February, 2010: No Estate Tax in 2010: What Does This Mean to You?

What a mess Congress has created! We are now in a year where there is no federal estate tax - but hold the cheers. Congress has substituted another method of taxation that will collect more taxes from many of our clients and families than the estate tax. Additionally, as has been reported in the local and national media, including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times1, these changes will, for some, greatly alter the planned for and anticipated distributions among family members and heirs.

These changes impact people of all levels of wealth, and the new tax will impact an estimated ten times more Americans than the estate tax.

November, 2009: Don't Make the Same Mistakes You've Seen in the Headlines

Now is the time to update your existing estate plan, or proceed with implementing a comprehensive estate plan. Why? First, we now know with certainty that the federal estate tax is not going away, and thus we should establish a plan that avoids or at least minimizes this voluntary tax. More importantly, if you don't, you just might end up like the host of celebrities who have made the headlines recently because they either had no estate planning or because the planning they did have was woefully out of date or otherwise inadequate.

August, 2009: When Is It Time to "Service" Your Estate Plan?

If you own a car, you know it requires regular servicing in order to perform well and be reliable. More than likely, your car came with a recommended schedule for service, based on how many miles it has been driven. After a certain number of miles, you need to change the oil, replace the brake pads, rotate the tires, and so on.

If you have a newer car, you probably have an irritating dash light that comes on when it's time for service and stays on until the mechanic resets it. Either way, whether you pay attention to the odometer or rely on that dash light, it's pretty easy to know when it's time to service your car. And if you keep driving it without servicing it, it's a sure bet your car will let you down.

Like your car, your estate plan needs 'servicing' if it is going to perform the way you want it to when you need it.

May, 2009: Understanding the New Economic Stimulus Law: How Does It Impact You?

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the $787 Billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This new law, designed to stimulate the economy, contains numerous tax provisions that affect individuals and small businesses. This includes some provisions that may not apply to you personally, but may affect your parents, children, and/or grandchildren. The following is a summary of the key provisions for individuals and married couples.

January, 2009: Planning You Should Consider Now

These are difficult times. The "experts" now acknowledge that we are in a recession - and that we've been so for about a year. Consumer confidence is low. As a result many of us are concerned, wondering what planning we should do now, if any.

For the vast majority of Americans, planning is not discretionary. These individuals continue to have - or perhaps for the first time have - personal concerns that they need to address now because these concerns are unrelated to the economy. In fact, some of these concerns may even be made worse by our current economic situation.

October, 2008: New FDIC Rules: Are You Protected?

With the rash of bank failures, you may wonder whether - and to what extent - the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) will protect your bank accounts. Fortunately, new rules from the FDIC clarify how you can ensure maximum FDIC insurance coverage. You may need to modify your planning slightly to take advantage of these new rules.

August, 2008: "Portability" of the Federal Estate Tax Exemption - What does it Mean?

With the political and economic climate as it is in the summer of 2008, we are not likely to see total repeal of the federal estate tax in the foreseeable future. However, both Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates support estate tax reform. Realistically, such reform is at least one year away, but the outlines are already clear. And while the top estate tax rate and the exemption amount are not yet established, both candidates support making the exemption "portable" for spouses.

February, 2008: Planning for Pets

For many pet owners, pets are members of the family. These individuals often say that if something happens to them, they are more concerned with what will happen to their pets than to their children or spouse.

September 2007: Understanding the Significance of Trusts

This issue of The Wealth Advisor addresses a topic that is important to many Americans yet is sometimes misunderstood - trusts. In the right circumstances, trusts can provide significant advantages to those who utilize them, particularly in protecting trust assets from the creditors of beneficiaries.

July, 2007: Planning for Disability

No one likes to think about the possibility of their own disability or the disability of a loved one. However, as we'll see below, the statistics are clear that we should all plan for at least a temporary disability. This issue of The Wealth Advisor examines the eye-opening statistics surrounding disability and some of the common disability planning options.

May. 2007: New Law Creates Exciting Planning Opportunities

The purpose of this newsletter is to inform you of changes in the law and to provide planning information and general financial news. These newsletters also give us a chance to share new techniques to enhance your planning, as well as to help you to stay current with tactics designed to maximize the effectiveness of your plan. I hope you will read each newsletter carefully to keep up to date on these important topics. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this or any matters relating to your planning.

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Price & Farrington, PLLC - Attorneys and Counselors at Law
Parkwood Office Center - 2370 130th Ave. N.E., Suite 103 - Bellevue, WA 98005
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