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Free Estate Planning Talks in Your Neighborhood

FREE FAMILY PLANNING TALKS OFFERED BY WILLS&WELLNESS IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

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Attend a free talk and find out what you need to know about making sure your kids are taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what.

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You’ll learn how to protect your children by choosing a guardian, how a will works versus and trust and the benefits and drawbacks of each, and how to capture your intangible assets such as your values, insights, and stories to pass down to your children and beyond.

        Children’s toys are used as playful visuals to understand certain aspects of estate planning and probate.

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Check out their free talk schedule for talks in your neighborhood!.

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Thursday December 19th, 2013 Podcast

HaystackRadio 12-19-13 HOUR 1

Bankruptcy Attorney Benjamin Yablon, of Yablon Law,  joined us to talk about the bankruptcy process from pre-filing requirements to post-filing credit repair.   Ben stressed the importance of credit repair once a bankruptcy is filed.

HaystackRadio 12-19-13 HOUR 2

Colorado High School Baseball Umpire Association (CHSBUA), the governing body for high school umpires, explained the process of becoming a baseball umpire in the state of Colorado.

Handyman Connection walked us through the entire remodeling process from receiving the estimate to permitting to the final inspection, offering advice to navigate each each step.  Handyman Connection is offering 15% off any job booked before 12/31.  You MUST mention Haystack Help!

Lakewood Plumbing and Heating joined us to talk about plumbing “horror” stories from the last few weeks with the frigid weather resulting in a rash of  frozen pipes and flooding.    Lakewood Plumbing and Heating is waiving the $55 trip charge for anyone who mentions Haystack Help when they make their appointment.

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Tuesday December 17th, 2013 Podcast

HaystackRadio 12-17-13 HOUR 1

Family Planning Attorney, Bonnie Bowles of Wills & Wellness joined us today to talk about Estate Planning and how important it is for everyone over the age of 18 to have one in place, no matter your net worth.  She also explained what happens during the estate planning process, describing the various elements involved.

Dr. Craig Burns of Maximized Health and Wellness Center talked about the necessity to take your car to a mechanic for preventative maintenance and how the same is true for your body.  Prevention and maintenance are just as important as for your spine and back health as seeing the dentist or going to the eye doctor are for your teeth and eye health.

HaystackRadio 12-17-13 HOUR 2

Littleton HVAC joined us to discussed the do’s and don’ts of hiring a heating and air conditioning contractor.  We are then joined by Colorado Cleanup Services talking about mold and whether or not it’s as dangerous as it’s made out to be.

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Thursday, December 12th, 2013 Podcast

HaystackRadio 12-12-13 HOUR 1

Benjamin Yablon, Attorney at Law joined us to explain how divorce affects bankruptcy. He strongly recommended that your current divorce attorney talk with a bankruptcy attorney before the divorce is final.  Ben explained the typical circumstance is a couple divorces, one of the individuals declares bankruptcy and then the creditors go after the other individual who would be legally responsible for the debt incurred while they were married.  The better situation is to have your Family Law Attorney speak with a Bankruptcy Attorney so a plan can be devised to avoid this scenario.

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9 Estate Planning Questions to Ask Before Year-End

Remember the fiscal cliff? That was the potential nightmare facing the country almost a full year ago. With the American Taxpayer Relief Act (“ATRA”) of 2012, passed by Congress on January 1, 2013, we were saved from the cliff—at least for a little while.

The ATRA made changes to estate and gift tax that may have an effect on your estate plan. Chat with your spouse or partner, review your existing estate plan (or schedule a meeting with an attorney if you don’t have an estate plan), and consider the following 10 estate planning questions to ask before it rings midnight on December 31st:

1. Should your estate plan be changed to reflect any new laws, new assets, or changes in your life?

I know two things for sure—the law is going to change and your life is going to change. Contrary to popular opinion, an estate plan is not a once-in-a-lifetime endeavor. Your estate plan needs to fit your family and circumstances to play out how you intend, and an outdated estate plan potentially could be worse for your loved ones than no plan at all.

2. Are your assets being tracked so that if anything happens to you, your family knows exactly how to access everything you own right now?

Every year, each state benefits from a “giant ‘lost and found'” of unclaimed assets that “escheat” to your state government. “Escheat” means an asset goes unclaimed for a statutory period of time, after which the financial institution or custodian of the asset turns the property over to the state. You can google and read about a number of tragic situations where families didn’t know what a deceased person left and a good chunk of the estate simply disappeared. This is why it’s important to leave your family a detailed list of what you own and where it is located.

3. If you have a family LLC or limited partnership, has it been properly maintained to comply with the state’s laws?

Simply creating an LLC online or calling your company a “partnership” isn’t enough. From a liability perspective, a plaintiff’s attorney is thrilled when a business can produce no business records other than the initial Secretary of State document forming the company—this means the business hasn’t been properly run and the plaintiff’s attorney can likely access the business owners’ personal assets to satisfy a claim. Keeping your business

4. If you have made gifts to family or friends, have you exceeded your exemption limit for the year?

In 2013, the maximum amount one person may give to another during the year without having to file a gift tax return is $14,000. For example, a parent can give a child $14,000 without needing to file a return, and a married couple can give a child $28,000 combined without needing to file a return. Once a gift from one individual to another exceeds $14,000, the individual giving the gift has a legal obligation to file a gift tax return.

5. Are you maximizing opportunities for income tax deductions in 2013?

Keeping good accounting records during the year will help you spot quickly how much you have available in income tax deductions and business deductions. Check with your CPA or a trusted advisor to make sure you’re taking advantage of all deduction opportunities to help minimize the tax burden this year.

6. Are the people you have designated as guardian, executor, trustee or beneficiaries still the right ones?

Reevaluate your preferences regarding who would step into trusted roles under your estate plan. If your preferences have changed, or there has been a falling out with a friend or relative, you may need to update your plan accordingly.

7. Are you employing the best strategies for year-end charitable gifting?

Charitable giving has a double benefit—you have the joy of giving, and you have the possibility of a tax deduction. If you are inching toward your maximum deductible charitable giving or don’t know how much of that $150 donation to your favorite charity in exchange for a fundraiser dinner is deductible, seek counsel to ensure you’re deducting the right amount.

8. If you donate cash to a charity from an IRA, are those being made properly?

Qualified retirement accounts have what can be tricky distribution requirements. It’s best to navigate these questions with a trusted financial advisor to ensure you’re making proper distributions to charities and to yourself—whether as the initial account owner or as the beneficiary of an inherited IRA.

9. Is there an opportunity to use a trust to protect assets?

Find an attorney who has the heart of a teacher. When working with an estate planner to design your estate plan, it’s important that you have a complete understanding of what probate is and how you can avoid it if that’s your desire. Many people (and attorneys) take the approach that “probate is easy” or “a will is enough” without informing the clients exactly what the probate process will look like for their loved ones after their gone. Only understanding the probate process will guide you to deciding whether a trust (which avoids probate if done correctly) is right for your family. And here’s a common myth: “a will avoids probate.” Absolutely not true!

 


Article contributed by Wills & Wellness.

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