By Lauren J. Wolven
A few years ago, my partner received a scary phone call from her child’s college roommate. Her child had collapsed in the dorm bathroom while getting ready for class and was in the hospital. Terrified, my partner contacted the hospital, and she was shocked to learn they couldn’t release any information because her child was over 18 and legally an adult. The hospital required a medical power of attorney before they could tell her anything. She had to make the thousand-mile trip not knowing how her child was doing. It was one of the worst situations a parent could face.
What if you got a call that your loved one – spouse, parent or adult child – was in the hospital? Would you be prepared? It can be overwhelming to even think about, but guidance and help are available.
Continue reading Power of Attorney: The Importance of Being Prepared
There is always a certain degree of guesswork that goes into year-end tax planning, but this year there is the added uncertainty surrounding what the tax code will look like after Washington completes the overhaul of our tax system. The income tax rates for many individuals and businesses may decrease; the definition of income subject to tax may change considerably as well. Many itemized deductions that we have become so used to, such as the deduction for qualified medical expenses, state and local income taxes and real estate taxes may be eliminated.
However, if the resulting new rules resemble the proposals, there will be a doubling of the standard deduction and the possible elimination of the controversial Alternative Minimum Tax. Below are some tax-planning suggestions, including suggestions related to charitable gifts, which consider both the typical year-end planning techniques as well as planning for a potential overhaul:
Continue reading Year-End Tax Planning in Uncertain Times
You’ve worked hard for decades – and it’s about time to enter the next phase of your life. You’ll have time to catch up on those books you’ve been meaning to read, travel to places you’ve dreamed of visiting and perhaps volunteer for that charity you’ve always admired.
But a pleasurable retirement requires sound financial planning. How can you be sure you’ll continue receiving the lifetime income you need and not have to worry that you’ll have enough?
Continue reading Benefit From a Charitable Gift Annuity While Doing Good