Save Your Estate for Your Heirs: Avoid These Probate Issues

Save Your Estate for Your Heirs: Avoid These Probate Issues

All estates must go through the probate process. Probate is the legal process of determining if a will is valid, paying any qualifying debt and estate taxes, and distributing whatever assets remain. It is potentially a very complicated legal process, and an attorney should be involved in any estate planning activities. Using these strategies will help you design your estate to avoid some common challenges of the probate process and save you money: Have a valid will. Probate can last up to a year in many cases; typically this is due to a protracted process of validating the will. Probate is a legal process, so the longer it takes, the more money the attorneys make. Be sure to draw up your will with an attorney and review it annually for anything that needs to be addressed. Avoid having your assets pass through probate. Create one or more trusts. Assets and property within a properly drafted trust avoid the probate process. They are simply transferred to the beneficiaries of the trust. This also has the effect of providing greater protection of the assets from creditors. Name beneficiaries for your 401(k) account. This will allow the account to avoid having to pass through the probate process. Again, this can provide protection from creditors. Name beneficiaries for your IRA. As with the 401(k), naming at least one beneficiary will avoid probate and can shield the assets from creditors. Just call your IRA firm and they can help you out. Name beneficiaries on your life insurance policies. This is the same situation as above. If you don’t name a beneficiary, then the proceeds...
Cook for a crowd—no sweat!

Cook for a crowd—no sweat!

The holidays are a great time to gather family and friends for a holiday meal. However, as your guest count multiplies, so might your worries—unless you use these tips to keep your cool as you cook for a crowd this holiday season. 1. Avoid stress over a high-cost menuWe don’t like to think about it or say it out loud, but sometimes the most stressful part of cooking for a crowd is the cost. Ingredients add up quickly, which can put a strain on your budget during the most expensive time of the year. It’s okay to put a budget on your holiday meal, and even ask others to bring dishes to pass. read...
End Of Year Business Tips

End Of Year Business Tips

Before the holidays completely take over, check out this list of tips for taking care of end-of-year business tasks. Doing so will help you stress less during EOY and better prepare you for 2020. Connect with our firm for a year-end reviewNow is the time to meet with us to review your financial standing and plan for next year. Year-end reviews can include your profit and loss report, year-end financial statements and projections for next year. Update your payroll and benefitsIf our firm is handling your payroll, let us know about corrections that need to be made before the end of the year. If you handle payroll in-house, make sure you have all taxable fringe benefits, payroll deductions and changes in benefits and reimbursement accounted for. Also, don’t forget to take care of payroll taxes and other compliance tasks. read...
Save on digital subscriptions

Save on digital subscriptions

If you are like many people, you’re probably spending more than you think on digital subscriptions—including music streaming, cloud storage, video libraries, software packages and more. When you take a moment to add up the cost, it’s likely fairly high. Want to start cutting back on digital subscription expenses? Here are a few pointers: Look for free options Many of your digital subscriptions likely offer free options.For example, the following providers offer free cloud storage—Google up to 15GB, Apple up to 5GB, Dropbox up to 2GB, Amazon up to 5GB, OneDrive up to 5GB and Box up to 10GB. Google also offers several free products such as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. Most music streaming vendors also offer a basic free account. If you can stand the ads, you can maintain your free account as long as you like. read...
Top financing tips for your business

Top financing tips for your business

One of the most challenging aspects of being a business owner is managing your finances. The following financing tips offer sound advice on this topic. For more customized guidance on financing for your business, contact our firm. Establish financial goals One of the most important things any business owner can do is establish financial goals and create a plan for achieving them—no matter the stage ofbusiness. This will help ensure you stay on track when it comes to your budget as well as help you achieve business goals. read...
Cut your summer vacation costs with reward points

Cut your summer vacation costs with reward points

These days, you can earn points for just about anything…and the points can add up quickly. This means that you can often use reward points to finance big-ticket items like airfare and hotel stays. Here are some tips from reward plan experts to help you cut your summer vacation costs by using reward points. 1. Keep it simple to start: As you may know from your own experience, reward programs can be complicated. So, it’s easier to just focus on one or two programs in the beginning. 2. Get a bump at the beginning: Assuming that your credit score is good, applying for a credit card that offers free frequent flyer miles when you open the card is an easy way to bump up airfare reward points quickly. Keep in mind, however, this often requires you to charge a minimum amount, and there may also be an annual fee. read...

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