The rules surrounding taxes on gifts often create confusion during tax season or any other time. Below are some of the nuts and bolts of the gift tax, including when a gift tax form needs to be filed. The annual gift tax exclusion for 2018 and 2019 is $15,000. This means that any person who gave…

If you become incapacitated, who will make your medical decisions? A health care proxy allows you to appoint someone else to act as your agent for medical decisions. It will ensure that your medical treatment instructions are carried out, and it is especially important to have a health care proxy if you and your family may…

Funerals are among the most expensive purchases many consumers will ever make, ranking only behind the purchase of a home and an automobile. A traditional funeral, including a casket and vault, can start at around $7,000, although “extras” like flowers, obituary notices, acknowledgment cards or limousines can add thousands of dollars to the bottom line….

How frequently you should review your estate plan depends on how old you are and whether there has been a significant change in your circumstances. If you are over age 60 and you haven’t updated your estate plan in many decades, it’s almost certain that you need to update your documents. After that, you should…

California attorney Michael Avenatti, who came to national attention for his representation of adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump, was recently charged in federal court with 36 counts of tax fraud, bankruptcy fraud and stealing from the settlements of clients. Among those clients is a paraplegic who was waiting for…

People wishing to help someone with special needs save for their future without jeopardizing the recipient’s public benefits can now do so using a Gift of Independence gift card. Funds in these gift cards can be placed directly into a person’s ABLE account, which is a relatively new and growing savings tool for people with disabilities. “ABLE” stands…

A proposal tucked into the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) 2020 budget, released March 18, is raising fears that people applying for government disability benefits will soon have their posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks scrutinized. Since at least 2014, the SSA’s Office of Inspector General has used social media as a tool for tracking down…

When parents ponder how to provide for their child with special needs, they sometimes forget one of the key advantages of a special needs trust that is created while the parents are still alive: the trust can be the recipient not just of the obvious assets that are available for the child. Members of the…

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