Friday, October 30, 2009
Remember, until the legislation is signed, it is just a proposal. There is no definitive change yet.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Any of a limited series of U.S. government bonds that may be used at par to pay federal estate taxes. The bond is unique because there is no minimum time for which it must be held; further, its holder does not have to wait until maturity to use it at par for paying the tax. Flower bonds have not been issued since 1971.
Monday, October 26, 2009
The will bequeaths Mr. Cronkite’s personal papers to the university, a process that started before his death on July 17 but will now end with the release of materials he had held onto at his office and homes in Manhattan and on Martha’s Vineyard.
Much of the newsman’s other assets will be divided among his three children: Walter Leland III, known as Chip; Mary Kathleen, known as Kate; and Nancy Elizabeth. Chip Cronkite said the family was happy that so many of his father’s papers would be kept by the university.I have often encouraged clients to consider leaving photos and other heirlooms to a museum or culture center where they can be enjoyed by many. My own family is considering doing this with some items my father had inherited from his Swedish ancestors.
At issue is the "step-up in cost basis" that all assets receive when an owner dies. The way the law is currently written, if the estate tax goes away, so does the step-up in cost basis. That's where the problem lies.
Step-up means that the property heirs receive is valued as of the date of death. So if Grandma leaves a grandchild stock selling for $75 a share that was bought in 1970 for $2 per share, the heir's "cost basis" in the stock is $75. If the grandchild then sells the stock for $80, the taxable gain is $5 per share. The same holds true for both real estate and personal property, like an heirloom ring or art.
If Congress fails to extend the current system for 2010, then at the owner's death all assets would retain their original cost, called "carry-over basis." Under this system the heir's stock would have a cost basis of the original $2 per share rather than $75. If he then sells the stock at $80, the taxable gain would be $78 instead of $5—a huge difference.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Remember, in Wisconsin a person can complete a Authorization for Final Disposition form, which allows you to appoint someone to be in charge of your funeral and to leave specific instructions. Webcasting might be something you'd want to mention on such a form.
I'd be curious to hear from those who have experienced this type of service. And thanks to my husband who spotted this article.
If you seen an article or have a topic you'd like to know more about, please leave a comment.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
- who is comfortable dealing with doctors and other medical staff;
- who will be able to handle seeing you in a very ill state;
- who will speak for you, based on wishes you communicated earlier, and not simply state what they want; and
- who has the time to be at the hospital or long-term care facility.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I knew it was like Hospice, but I was not able to give a good, concise definition. We met with palliative care team, and the decision was made to transfer my father to their unit. What did it mean? Palliative care does not mean "non-medical" or "non-treatment". Instead, the medical treatment is for comfort rather than curative measures. Comfort, not a cure -- that was the goal. Hospice, the term I was much more familiar with, is a brand of palliative care, a company name essentially.