Making the right choice when it comes to securing your wealth has never been easier.

Making the right choice when it comes to securing your wealth has never been easier.

5 Rights That Trust Beneficiaries Have

As a trust beneficiary, you may feel that you are at the mercy of the trustee, but depending on the type of trust, beneficiaries may have rights to ensure the trust is properly managed. A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person, called a “settlor” or “grantor,” gives assets to another person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a “trustee.” The trustee holds legal title to the assets for another person, called a “beneficiary.” The rights of a trust beneficiary depend on the type of trust and the type of beneficiary. If the trust

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Blood Is Not Always Thicker Than Water: How Massachusetts Defines Next of Kin When You Die Intestate

Sometimes, the best family is the one we choose for ourselves: friends, mentors, and significant others. Regardless of how good—or not—your relationship with your biological family is, the law will recognize your blood (or legally adopted) relatives as your heirs should you die without a will and other estate-planning documents in place. In the best of circumstances, that can mean beloved blood relatives shouldering a burden they are not emotionally or logistically prepared to handle. In a more troubling scenario, it could mean your estranged relatives making decisions about your medical care, funeral arrangements, and assets that go directly against

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Annual Gift Tax and Estate Tax Exclusions Are Increasing in 2022

The amount you can gift to any one person without filing a gift tax form is increasing to $16,000 in 2022, the first increase since 2018. The federal estate tax exclusion is also climbing to more than $12 million per individual. The IRS’s announcement that the annual gift exclusion will rise for calendar year 2022 means that any person who gives away $16,000 or less to any one individual (anyone other than their spouse) does not have to report the gift or gifts to the IRS. Any person who gives away more than $16,000 to any one person is required

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Why You May Need a Trust in Addition to a Power of Attorney

While everyone should have a durable power of attorney that appoints someone to act for them if they become incapacitated, in some circumstances it is not enough. In these cases, a revocable trust can help. A durable power of attorney allows you to appoint someone you trust to step in for you to handle financial and legal matters if you become incapacitated. We all are at risk of incapacity from illness or injury, whether temporary or permanent. Of course, this risk rises as we get older. Without someone in place to handle legal and financial matters, bills can go unpaid,

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You May Be Overestimating Your Social Security Benefits

Studies have found that workers overestimate how much they will receive in Social Security benefits when they retire. Having a good understanding of the realities can help you plan for retirement. Researchers from the University of Michigan studied the expectations of workers and found great uncertainty about future Social Security benefits as well as a tendency to overestimate the amount they think they will receive. Half of the workers surveyed in the study did not know their benefit amount. The average overestimation of the benefit was $307 a month, more than one-quarter of the average forecasted benefit. The study found that as

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How to Protect an IRA From Heirs’ Creditors

When a person declares bankruptcy, an individual retirement account (IRA) is one of the assets that is beyond the reach of creditors, but what about an IRA that has been inherited? Resolving a conflict between lower courts, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014 unanimously ruled that funds held in an inherited IRA are not exempt from creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding because they are not really retirement funds. Clark v. Rameker (U.S., No. 13-299, June 13, 2014). This ruling had significant estate planning implications for those who intend to leave their IRAs to their children. If the child inherits the

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