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Estate Planning – Much More Than Signing a Will

In the age of the internet, there is a growing trend amongst the American populace who decide they need a Will to avoid the cost of a lawyer and use a legal services website like Legal Zoom® or use some free Will form found on the internet. However, there are many dynamics that go into estate planning beyond executing a “simple” Will.   First, you may have family dynamics or complex assets such as a closely-held business that require something more than a “simple” Will.

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Federal And New York State Tax Advantages Of Long Term Care Insurance

If you have looked into purchasing long term care insurance, you know that it is an expensive proposition. However, there are some tax advantages related to the premium payments for long term care insurance.

If you are an employee and itemize your deductions you can deduct a portion of your long term care insurance premium as a medical expense on Schedule A of your 1040, itemized deductions.

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A Living Will is Not a Will (But No Less Important)

Lawyers are occasionally guilty of speaking legal jargon that a non-lawyer has no idea what the lawyer is talking about. For example, an estate planning lawyer (or perhaps an estate planning website you found) may suggest that you execute a living will in addition to a will, health care proxy and power of attorney. You probably already know that a will is but may have no idea what a living will is.

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What it Means to be a Trustee – Part 1

Flattered to be named a trustee? Curious as to what it all means? Great, we will do a number of blog posts on the duties and powers of a trustee. This is the first such blog post.

Trusts are used for a multitude of purposes. Estate planning, charitable gifts, disability planning, tax reduction and avoidance of probate are but a few uses for trusts. Despite these different purposes, the trustee has similar duties derived from the trustee’s status as a fiduciary.

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Social Security, Medicaid Income And Resource Levels And The Regional Rates For Calculating A Penalty Period For 2016

The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits did not increase for 2016, and remain the same as in 2015.

There is also no increase in the spousal impoverishment standards for 2016.  The community spouse Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA) remains at $2,980.50.  This is the amount of monthly income a spouse who is in the community, whose spouse is institutionalized, may keep.

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Implementing Local Legacy Simply

Anne Ruffer is Chair of the Community Foundation’s Professional Advisor Council.  She wrote this article for the winter edition of Smart Money, a publication of the Central New York Community Foundation, to give some guidance on incorporating charitable giving into estate plans.

In 2010, the Central New York Community Foundation commissioned a study on wealth transfer. It found that over the next decade, local individuals in our five-county region will determine the distribution of an unprecedented $22 billion after they pass away. The Community Foundation’s Professional Advisor Council has discussed ways to raise awareness and motivate our charitable community to retain part of this wealth transfer.

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