Articles Posted in Gifts

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It’s Fall: Custodial Accounts, 529 Plans And Paying For College

As the season turns and it starts to feel like Fall, many parents are either paying college tuition bills or worrying about paying them. Many of my clients have asked me how 529 college savings plans or custodial accounts are counted when colleges consider financial aid. Here are the basic…
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What to Do if Your Child’s Custodial Account is Too Big?

Custodial accounts are an easy way to hold money for a minor child’s benefit. They have many advantages.  They’re free-it’s easy to open up a custodial account at any bank or financial services company.  (You’ll know if an account is custodial in California because…
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How to Give Your Kids Money Now That They Can’t Use Until Later

Recently, a client of mine asked me how to set up a trust to hold gifts to their children that those children wouldn’t be able to use for about twenty more years. This can be done by use of what’s called a “Crummey” Trust (named after the attorney who invented the…
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Sometimes It is the Little Things: Arguing About Stuff

Estate planning is often motivated by the big things. I’m not getting philosophical here. Forget about life and death. On a practical level, what brings families into my office are often the big financial assets–the house, the brokerage accounts, the retirement assets, and a…
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IRS Year-End Gifts to Charity Tips

As 2014 draws to a close, many of our clients are thinking about making annual gifts to charities. The IRS has just posted a handy article with six tips to keep in mind to make sure that you can claim an income tax deduction for the gift. Here’s a summary: 1. Qualified charities. Make…
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It’s Holiday Time (Almost) How About a Roth IRA?

I recently read an article about the value of giving your children (or grandchildren) the gift of compound interest and a more secure retirement, in the form of an annual contribution to their Roth IRA. What a great idea! The author’s point is that many young people are struggling to…
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Naming Young Kids as Beneficiaries (Don’t)

One of the things that I love about my job is helping people with real-world, actual, legal issues. And one that comes up often is parents, or grandparents, asking me how to name their young children, or grandchildren, as beneficiaries for their retirement accounts, life insurance, or…
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Beware of gifts that are pegged to the tax code

Today, I was reading a trust written in the late 1990’s. In it, the Grantor made a gift to her grandchildren that was to be equal to the Generation Skipping Transfer (GST) tax exemption. This is the amount of money that a person can give to someone, like a grandchild, who is more…

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