Families Can Prepay Tuition as a Way to Avoid Gift Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service recently ruled that individuals can prepay tuition of family members at private schools and colleges for a number of years as a way to cut their tax bills. This wealth-transfer technique could be a wise move for people with large estates to deal with soaring education costs and trim their federal estate and gift taxes.  Prepaying tuition in large chunks reduces the value of an estate, which can save on future estate

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Keeping your vacation home in the family

If you own a vacation home and you want it to remain in your family for the continued enjoyment by your children and future generations, you might want to consider some special planning to avoid unnecessary conflict. For example, your estate plan could specifically cover how your vacation home is to be used and maintained following your death.  This could avoid tension among family members on how to upkeep the property and who should pay for

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Blended Families can Squabble over Inheritance

More and more families have stepchildren as the result of second and third marriages, which has sparked an increase in contested wills around the country. Tension can rise when a family member who holds a family together passes away, often a parent who has children with different spouses.  From an estate planning standpoint, perhaps the wisest course is to distribute assets separately.  That way, stepchildren are not financially intertwined with each other.

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New Medicaid Eligibility Rules Could Require Changes to Estate plans

The rules on getting help from the federal government to pay for nursing home expenses have been tightened, making it harder for senior citizens to qualify for long term care payments. With the average nursing home stay between two and three years at an average annual cost of $74,000, this could become a daunting financial burden for some seniors.  The federal government has toughened the rules designed to prevent individuals from transferring assets to family members,

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