Social Security--Timing is Everything
  by Robert Bloink, Esq. and William H. Byrnes, Esq. March 17, 2014 Creative use of Social Security timing strategies can be key to securing comfort in retirement, and timing benefits so that your client can receive a lump sum payment during retirement can unlock many options for the older client. For... »
Annuities + IRA = Bad News
Note to self: Bankers are not lawyers. Accountants are not lawyers. Insurance brokers are not lawyers. People who sell annuities are not lawyers. And they are not going to know how a particular financial product fits into your estate plan. Case in point is a "disaster in the making" (pointed... »
Pre-Nuptial Agreements
I am often asked "Do I need a prenuptial agreement?"  "What should be in the prenuptial agreement?"  "How do I talk to my spouse about a prenuptial agreement?" While I do not handle divorce actions for clients, nuptial agreements can be a key part of a lifetime plan and an... »
Riddle Me This: When is a Retirement Account Not a Retirement Account?
Answer:  when it's inherited from someone else, silly! Many clients use their IRA for a significant, if not primary, part of their retirement plan. After all, both traditional IRA’s and ROTH IRAs are attractive for many reasons, chief among them tax-free growth and creditor protection. Bankruptcy protection for your own... »
Estate Planning Isn't Just About Death--It Also Comes Into Play When You Get Sick and Live.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, there are four essential documents that EVERYONE should have--and the Wall Street Journal agrees. This is not only about having your wishes carried out, but also about making things easier on your loved ones when they are faced with hard... »
Game Changer--Inherited IRAs May Not Be Protected from Creditors
Traditional and Roth IRAs are typcially exempt up to $1.25 million, however this exemption does not always apply to non-spouse beneficiaries. Courts are in disagreement as to whether inherited IRA funds constitute retirement assets, and are therefore subject to exemptions, or whether inherited IRAs are subject to different rules than... »
Why Giving Your House to Your Kids Can Create More Problems than It Solves
Often parents will transfer the ownership of their home to a child in order to avoid probate or as a tax play. There are several risks in doing this, and at the end of the day it may not help you accomplish what you wanted to begin with. Some... »
7 Tips for Shopping for Long-Term Care Insurance
Researchers at Georgetown and Penn State claim that 70% of people 65 and older will need long-term care. These policies help ensure you get the care you need if money is an issue, and protect cash so there is still a legacy to leave to your heirs. As with the... »
NYS Tax Changes to Trusts
Before April 1, 2014, it was possible to make distributions free of NY income tax to NY resident beneficiaries from trusts which were NY resident trusts but which were drafted in such a way that the trusts were not subject to NY income tax. [Stop reading if you have... »
Same-Sex Marriage Update
There has been a rapid flurry of activity in the same-sex marriage equality front, bringing the total to 19 states that allow same-sex marriage to occur in their borders. In Oregon, a federal trial judge ruled that Oregon must allow same-sex couples to marry.  He rested his conclusion on the Constitution. Couples began... »
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