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October 2011 Archives

Reducing estate taxes not only for the wealthy

Reducing estate tax liability is an integral aspect of estate planning, and an especially important task for clients with large estates. But tax planning isn't exclusively for those with estates exceeding the estate tax exemption amount. Those with smaller estates shouldn't assume they will not be affected by estate taxes, since tax law tends not to stay put for very long.

States increasingly limit Medicaid hospital stays

USA Today reports that states are increasingly limiting hospital stays covered by Medicaid in an effort to control rising health costs for the program and balance budgets affected by the struggling economy. Some states have limited the number of hospital stays covered by Medicaid to as few at 10, causing some advocates for the poor, as well as hospital executives, to raise concerns over restricted access to care, more absorbed costs, and increased costs for patients covered under private insurance.

Funeral arrangements and disposition of remains, P.2

In our last post we began looking at the issue of planning for your funeral arrangements and the disposition of your remains. As we mentioned, some people truly do find these to be uncomfortable topics of conversation. Others know exactly what they want their funeral to be like, what music they want, what food, what flowers, etc. Whichever category you fall into, or if you don't know where you fall, it is good to be reminded of the importance of at least knowing your options in this area.

Funeral arrangements and disposition of remains, P.1

What will happen to your remains once you die? What do you want for your funeral? These are questions that some may find uncomfortable to think about, but which should be answered when doing estate planning. In approaching these topics, you may either choose to formalize your wishes or to simply keep them informal. In either case, you should have an idea of what is involved in both of these options.

Life insurance for paying of estate taxes, P.2

In our last post, we began speaking about the importance of ensuring your estate has enough funds to pay of taxes and other expenses related to winding down the estate. We noted that the first step in the process should be to determine your tax liability and other expenses. The next step is setting aside the funds to cover those costs.

Remarriage can complicate an estate

A recent article in the Star Ledger took a look at the way marriage and remarriage can quickly complicate an estate. The specific problem the article examined was how stocks and bonds purchased by a woman's first husband are to be distributed after her death and the death of her second husband, where she leaves no will. Do those assets go to the children of the second husband or remain within the woman's family? Good question.