Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don't Forget Your Digital Life When Planning

More and more of my clients are receiving and or paying bills on-line. It is a great way to reduce paper use and be more efficient, however, you want to make sure you leave some sort of paper trail for loved ones in the event of your illness or death. Why? Well, in order for bills to be paid, the person paying them needs to know about them. If you receive a monthly email invoice for the credit card, remember, no one else will know about it if you are in the hospital or deceased. A simple solution is to keep a list of what bills you receive on-line and from what institution. Keep the list with your will and powers of attorney. It will give those in charge a good place to start when they assume responsibility for your financial affairs.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wisconsin Supreme Court Says "Estates are Responsible for Taxes"

The Wisconsin State Supreme court has just ruled that estates, not heirs, are responsible for paying state and federal estate taxes. Channel 3000 offers I nice summary of the case.

Quite often I have clients who are surprised to learn that life insurance is included in a determination of whether the estate tax is owed. A common response is "my agent told me this money would be tax free". That is true, partially. Life insurance is not taxable from the income tax perspective of the beneficiary. However, IT IS included in the determination of whether an estate is subject to the federal estate tax.