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Washington-Proof Your Tax Planning

Though no one can predict the ultimate outcome of political campaigns and debates or control exactly how such events will impact a portfolio, there are several proactive tax planning strategies you can leverage to help protect and grow the value of your wealth.

Are Taxes Lowering Your Investment Returns?

When it comes to your investments, it is after-tax returns that really count. Follow these guidelines to boost your post-tax results and investment returns.

Go Digital to Ease Tax Planning Stress

Long gone are the days of cluttered file cabinets and stacks of paper. Go digital with these tips to ease your tax planning stress.

3 Ways to Make the Most out of Your Charitable Giving

Use these tips to make the most of your charitable giving and maximize your tax benefits.

Choosing Beneficiaries to Maximize Assets (and Minimize Taxes)

Understanding the tax and legal consequences surrounding beneficiary designations is imperative. Keep these points in mind when choosing your beneficiaries.

How to Spot Tax Planning Opportunities from Last Year’s Tax Return

Eager to optimize and strengthen your tax planning strategy for this year, but not sure where to begin? Try going back in time and starting with last year’s experience. Melissa Register, Senior Wealth Strategist at Mirador Family Wealth Advisors, a division of Fifth Third Bank, shares some strategies on how you can leverage the information on last year’s tax return to not only hone and leverage what served you well in the past, but also make the changes that can help maximize your potential future results… before year-end officially arrives.

7 Powerful Tax-Reduction Strategies

There are 3 principles of tax-reduction: reduce taxable income, increase deductions & use tax credits. Use these tips to reduce your potential tax liability

Make Taxes a Year-Round Investment Priority

Monitor your taxes year-round to reduce your tax liability. Consider these tax issues when planning investment strategies.

4 Questions That Define Your Tax Planning Strategy

While most high earners are understandably eager to minimize their tax liability, it’s nearly impossible to lower your tax bill without advance planning and a… 

Benefits of a Health Savings Account

Investing in a personal savings account has many benefits. Major life events, such as paying for college tuition or retirement, are probably at the top of your list of reasons to save. Due to the rising costs and uncertainty of American health-care, you may want to think about opening a Health Savings Account.

6 Life Insurance Myths Debunked

Most of us would do anything to protect the health, safety, and security of our loved ones. Having a life insurance policy in place can help you prepare for the unexpected and provide peace of mind. The topic of life insurance is often met with confusion and misinformation. Read on for six of the most common misconceptions people have about life insurance.

5 Times You Need to Review Your Life Insurance Coverage

Life is full of uncertainty. And the more you have to protect — a home, family, business, retirement security — the greater financial risks you face. Having a solid life insurance strategy can help you prepare for the unexpected. Here are five times you should review your life insurance.

Smart Estate Planning with a Life Insurance Trust

Life insurance can be a key component of an effective estate plan. It can provide the funds necessary to pay a variety of estate and family expenses following the death of a wage earner.

Why You Need a Succession Plan for Your Business

Creating a succession plan is a vital part of ensuring the survival of your business when you retire. Find out what to include in your business success plan

Protecting Your Wealth from Health Care Costs

When planning for retirement, you should save as much as possible, and account for what will likely be the biggest expense of your retirement – health care.

The Impact of AI On Wealth Management

AI is already involved in passive investing—that is, investments which are bought and sold according to a predetermined set of rules. Index funds frequently run this way. While once simpler, the rules for these investments are now becoming more complex.

Wealth and Estate Planning for Blended Families

Blended families create unique estate planning needs. Consider the following tips to minimize snags and maintain family harmony.

Five Documents Essential to Your Estate Plan

Creating an estate plan is an important task, but can be complicated. Keep these five documents ready to stay prepared in the case of an unknown scenario.

5 Strategies to Build (and Preserve) Your Wealth

Financial plans can quickly become obsolete if you don't review it with your financial advisor. Use these strategies to build and preserve your wealth.

Family Wealth Planning: Three Actions to Take Now to Prevent Family Fights

Most parents hope that their children will maintain a good relationship with each other that stretches beyond their own hopefully long natural lives, but all too often disagreements—and sometimes even litigation—arise out of differing expectations for how a parent’s estate will be handled.

7 Ways to Build (and Protect) Wealth Over 50

Building wealth is important at any age, but as you approach retirement, it is increasingly vital. Consider these tips to help build wealth over age 50.

Selling a Family-Owned Business: Financial & Emotional Considerations

If you are considering selling your business (or think you may be in the next few years), consider these tips to maximize the value of your business, ease the financial and professional transition, preserve positive family dynamics, and have a successful selling experience.

Planning Your Legacy: What Do You Want to Leave Behind?

Estate planning is more than the objects you leave behind. Find out how to put together an estate plan that leaves behind a legacy.

Developing an Effective Legacy Action Plan

Proper estate planning is key to ensuring assets are distributed as you intend. These tips can help you prepare to successfully pass along your legacy.

Incorporating Digital Assets Into Your Estate Plan

Without addressing digital assets in your estate plan, your family may not be able to access them without going to court and may not even know they exist.

3 Common Investing Mistakes to Avoid

Investing should be based on sound principles, but sometimes emotion overrules logic. Being aware of these financial pitfalls may help keep your investment strategy on track.

The Psychology of Investing: How We Cope With Risk

Researchers have found investors have a tendency to psychologically exaggerate declines in the performance of an investment and to minimize gains. It’s a phenomenon with a complex sounding name — “myopic loss aversion” — but one that makes a simple point: Psychology plays a role in our investment decisions. Understanding that role may help you stay on course toward your long-term financial objectives.

Passive and Active Stock Market Strategies

Stocks typically post strong gains across the board during bull markets1. However, the volatile market conditions of recent years have prompted many investors to reconsider funds whose managers select securities based on specific factors, such as company fundamentals or industry outlook. These funds are also known as actively managed funds.

Asset Allocation and Diversification: You Can’t Have One Without the Other

Many people often use the terms “asset allocation” and “diversification” interchangeably. These two terms, while often used in the same way, are distinctly different strategies. Understanding each and how the pair can work together may be the key to reducing risk and pursuing your long-term goals, even in today’s challenging market environment.

Dollar-Cost Averaging: A Simple Investment Strategy

If a simple investment strategy interests you, consider dollar-cost averaging. In fact, if you participate in your employer’s retirement savings plan, you may already use the dollar-cost averaging strategy without even realizing it. But you can also use this strategy when investing on your own. Dollar-cost averaging helps take the guesswork out of when to invest.

Rethinking, Managing & Mitigating Risk in Times of Uncertainty

Making Sense of Media Headlines: How Worried (or Confident) Should Investors Be? Making financial decisions amidst the backdrop of the unknown is an inherent characteristic…

What an Interest Rate Increase Could Mean for Your Bond Portfolio

Changes in interest rates can affect bond prices. Generally, when interest rates rise, prices of existing bonds fall because demand for them decreases compared to the newly issued, higher interest paying bonds...

Teaching Your Adult Children About Investing

For many young adults, planning their financial future isn’t on the radar. This uncertainty can create anxiety for parents watching from the sidelines. The good news is, experts say it’s never too late to help your adult children develop good financial habits.

How to Know When to Let Go of an Investment

There comes a time when you have to let unneeded things go. Maybe you donate clothing your children outgrow, or recycle your old computer, cell phone or MP3 player. Your investment portfolio may also contain items you no longer need. Here are examples of when it might make sense to let go of a retirement plan investment.

How to Survive Market Volatility

Investing can be tricky.  The markets can perform well one week and poorly next. Market volatility is inevitable, so ensure your portfolio can withstand the ups and downs of investing. While you cannot prevent market fluctuations, you can take steps to help minimize their effect on your portfolio’s returns.

ETFs at 25: What We’ve Learned

Is an ETF—which, much like a mutual fund, holds shares of stocks, bonds or other investments, but can be traded like shares of stock during the trading day—right for your portfolio?

3 Economic Indicators to Watch for in 2017

The U.S. economy enjoyed a fairly healthy 2016. Mortgage, interest and unemployment rates remained near record lows. So what’s in store for next year? Will we see more of the same or should we anticipate change in the New Year? Here’s an overview of key economic indicators to keep an eye on in the New Year — and how they might impact your wallet.

Managing Multiple Retirement Assets

Many retirees manage multiple retirement accounts. Use these tips to properly manage multiple retirement assets while minimizing tax implications.

Retiring Abroad: What You Need to Know

Many retirees may find the idea of retiring abroad appealing, but there are several factors you should take into consideration before making the move.

Parents’ Dilemma: Save for College or Retirement?

Saving for college is important, but so is saving for your retirement. Use these steps to balance both saving for college and your retirement.

The Real Secret to Choosing the Best Place to Retire

Choosing a place to retire is about enjoying your life. Whether across town or across the country, your ideal retirement location has what matters most.

Retirement Planning: How Much is Enough?

Pinpointing the right amount for your retirement nest egg can feel daunting. Use these retirement savings rules of thumb to determine how much you need.

Retirement Milestones

Reaching “official” retirement age marks a rite of passage in your professional life. But there are many key milestones along this journey. Here are the… 

Retirement Money Management Tips

Managing your money effectively is a key portion of having peace of mind during your retirement. Use these tips to manage money during retirement. 

Planning for Health Care Costs in Retirement

During retirement, health care will likely be your biggest expense. Find out how to include and prepare for health care costs in your retirement plan.

How to Maximize Your Social Security Fund

How much can you expect to receive from Social Security and how can you maximize your Social Security benefits during your retirement? 

When is it Time to Downsize?

Downsizing your home is a great option for empty nesters. Consider these important factors before you decide to make the move.

Retirement Savings Tips if You're Over 50

When you reach 50-years-old, you can contribute extensively to your retirement. Use these retirement savings tips to fund and build your retirement 

How Does Company Stock Fit Into Your Investment Portfolio and Retirement Plan?

When evaluating retirement plans, review company stock options with your financial advisor so your retirement portfolio aligns with your investment goals 

How to Save for College and Retirement

When you look at your long-term financial goals, you may feel conflicted – should you save for your children's college education or your retirement?

Making an Impact in Your Retirement

If you want a retirement filled with endless lazy days, you may want to think again. Statistics show happy retirees have an active retirement lifestyle

How Sequence of Returns Risk Can Affect Your Retirement Portfolio

Timing is everything, especially when making your money last through retirement. Consider sequence of returns risk when making investment withdrawals.

Retirement Planning by the Decades

The retirement planning process is different depending on your age. Use this retirement planning checklist to keep you on track at any age. 

Retirement Income: 3 Things to Consider

Your annual withdrawal rate effects your retirement income. Keep these tips in mind when choosing your retirement savings annual withdrawal rate. 

Retirement Planning for Business Owners

As a business owner, your retirement planning needs are unique. Find out what steps to take to create a comprehensive business owner retirement plan.

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

The digital age poses many threats to your secure information. These steps can help you protect yourself from identity theft.

Giving in 2018: How New Tax Laws Are Impacting Philanthropy

How will the tax overhaul impact your generosity? It depends. There ways you can continue to give while reaping some tax relief for opening your wallet.

Goodwill Giving: Charity Wedding and Gift Registries Gaining Popularity

According to Philanthropy.com, a growing number of Americans now incorporate giving to charity into wedding, birthday and anniversary registries.

Should You Explore Concierge Medicine?

Ever struggle to schedule a same-day appointment with the doctor of your choice? Or wait an hour to speak to a physician for only five minutes? Or check your voicemail repeatedly for test results or the answer to a simple question about a prescription? Here’s what you need to know if you’re contemplating concierge medicine.

Proper Financial Planning: Critical for Women

A lot goes into planning for retirement. Learn what factors, including gender, affect the way you should manage your financial planning.

6 Ways to Keep Your Important Documents Safe

ou never know when you might need legal documents in the case of an emergency. Follow these tips to keep your important documents handy.

Talking Finances With Your Spouse

Forty-three percent of people don’t know how much their spouse earns. There are many financial discussions that too many married couples keep to themselves — and that can set the stage for marital strife. To ensure you and your better half are on the same page about finances, use these tips to start a conversation.

Summer Reading List: Finance-Centric Books to Share with Your Adult Kids

This summer, consider pointing your son or daughter towards these five great reads…each of which also just happen to be imbued with timeless wisdom and thought-provoking concepts related to money matters.

Are You in Control of Your Financial Picture?

Managing your finances can be complex and time consuming. Review these tips to eep your finances on track and stay in control of your financial picture.

Donor-Advised Funds: A Different Way to Give to Charity

Are you looking for a different way to give to your favorite charities? Learn more about donor-advised funds and how they impact non-profit organizations.

Your Annual Financial Plan Review Checklist

Before reviewing your financial plan, use this checklist to address the most important issues with your financial advisor.

The Graduation Gift Guide: For High School and College Graduates

When the final diploma has been handed out and the last strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” fade at high school and college graduation ceremonies across the country, it’s time for family parties, cake, and, of course, gifts. What will your contribution to the pile be? A generic picture frame? A personalized beach towel? Or something that carries a little more meaning and emotional weight? Here are several ideas to get you started.

Market Outlook: Late in the Game, But Not Game Over

While investors must remain vigilant, the consensus view may have swung too far toward the side of pessimism. Continued strength in the underlying economy could drive still higher returns for select U.S. equities.

By Jeff Korzenik, Chief Investment Strategist for Fifth Third Bank
What Is Micro Estate Planning and Do You Need It?

If you have underage children, ask your estate attorney about adding a separate document to your plan that protects your children when they need it the most.

6 Ways to Build a Roth Retirement Nest Egg

Money in a Roth IRA grows tax-free, and the account doesn't have required minimum distributions--so you withdraw the money only when you need it. Withdrawals are also tax-free, so they don't trigger other consequences. Roth withdrawals don't count in the calculations for taxing Social Security benefits or determining Medicare premium surcharges, for instance.

Best Practices for Integrated Family Wealth Planning

While preserving wealth and developing an effective approach to pass it from generation to generation is often a challenge, sometimes the most difficult aspect of legacy planning is knowing when and how to integrate younger generations and trusted advisors.

How to Protect Your Assets in a Divorce

If you haven’t taken any advance precautions, such as creating a prenuptial agreement, you may feel resigned to certain outcomes that could have a negative financial impact on your post-married life. However, there are actions you can take to try to separate assets fairly or remove yourself from unwarranted debt obligations.

6 Tax Moves to Make Before the End of the Year

The end of the year is fast approaching, which means for taxpayers wanting to minimize their bill, there are some key moves that should be made now. While some of these tasks are applicable every year, the Tax Cuts and Job Act passed in 2017 spurred additional changes that could heavily affect what you owe.

Do the Math to Get Life Insurance Right

Going without life insurance puts your family's long-term well being in the hands of fate. Hopefully we all live long, healthy, successful lives. But in reality, no one lives forever. Accidents happen. Life insurance is not optional for a financially secure family.

How to Turn Your Estate Plan Into a Legacy Plan

Your legacy plan needs to evolve as you evolve. The right process and legacy team will not only ensure your legacy plan evolves with you, but they will propel your evolution forward so that you can achieve your greatest legacy and success.

How To (Fairly) Divide Your Estate Among Multiple Heirs

Whether spurred by age, circumstances, or on occasion, guilt, estate planning is a necessary life step. But there are circumstances when “equal” does not make the most sense given each family’s unique dynamic.

The Importance of Personal Umbrella Policies

A component of a solid asset protection plan – which sadly is too often overlooked – is the umbrella policy. In fact, for some people, the proper umbrella policy is all they really need.

It's Time for a Personal Insurance Check-Up

If you’re like most people, you buy insurance—home, auto—and then rarely look at it again. But as time goes on, things change, your needs evolve, and it’s important to make sure you have not only enough coverage, but the right coverage.

3 Tips for Creating a Retirement Distribution Strategy

You’ve likely saved for retirement, but now putting a solid plan together for how to best use those savings is key to ensuring the rest of your retirement vision becomes a reality.

Retirement Planning for the C Suite: 3 Critical Considerations

Whether you’re two years from retirement or 10, you should be taking advantage of your skills and experience to ensure great outcomes, both for your own financial situation and the team you manage. 

How to Invest in a Post-IPO Tech Company

Post-IPO share prices can swing wildly during the IPO’s earliest trading days. Yet despite the potential volatility, the potential upside remains tantalizing to investors and, as a result, tech IPOs appear poised to continue the current ‘white hot’ streak. Tempted to join the throng? Here’s what you need to know before you buy.

Individual Investor 2018 Tax Planning

To help you sort through the relevant details and prepare, this primer covers some of the key provisional changes and planning issues as we head into our first tax season under the new law.

Understanding the Main Types of Trusts

Trusts are estate-planning tools, and like other estate-planning structures (like foundations or life insurance), a trust's structure will determine how assets are controlled, whether they're protected from future creditors' claims, and how they're taxed.

Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

A will spells out how you want your assets distributed after your death, and it names an executor to handle these transfers.

Estate Planning for Surviving Spouses: What to Do ASAP

After the death of a spouse, most of the attention for legal services is paid to administering the estate of the decedent. Often times, little time is spent focusing on the legal needs of the surviving spouse.

How To Avoid One Of The Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes

There’s a mistake families at every level of wealth often make when they go through their estate planning process, and decide how to allocate money to their heirs and to charity. 

Beyond Your First Marriage, a QTIP Can Protect Your Current Spouse And Your Children

Careful estate planning not only is critical, but extremely considerate, as it can avoid future heartache and lawsuits. An estate vehicle that should be considered is a Qualified Terminable Interest Property trust (QTIP).

6 Reasons Why You Need an Estate Plan

Everyone, regardless of family dynamics or financial status, can benefit from having an estate plan—a collection of documents that specify how you want your assets distributed.

Real Estate Agents Answer: What's The Biggest Mistake That Buyers Make?

Navigating the real estate market can be tough. It’s only natural that some people are going to make missteps.

How To Transfer Heirloom Real Estate

Some assets require special estate planning strategies and a lot of thought. One such asset is what I sometimes call heirloom real estate, or family real estate.

How Much to Save to Become a Millionaire

With all the talk of a diminishing Social Security system, the need to save more for retirement seems inevitable.

Who Will Manage Your Personal Finances if You Are Not Able?

Deep aging is generally understood to be the period of aging when most people are not very mobile and need some assistance with their activities.

Powerful Strategies for Charitable Giving After Tax Reform

The non-tax benefits of charitable giving should be, and often are, important to motivating and planning donations.

Inheritance Disputes: How to Avoid and Resolve Estate Conflicts

Distributing assets to beneficiaries can be a difficult process. Here are some of the most common inheritance disputes, with tips to resolve them.

Inheritance 101

You received an inheritance. Now what? In addition to figuring out how to manage your inheritance responsibly, it may have tax implications. Learn more about what to do if you receive an inheritance.

Including Pets in Your Estate Plan

If you own a pet, you likely consider your furry companion as part of the family. When drafting your estate plan, consider these options to ensure the care of your pet.

Inheriting an IRA

After inheriting an IRA, you may have questions about IRS rules regarding making withdrawals. Age, IRA type and your relationship to the IRA owner influence distribution rules.

Living Trust vs. Last Will & Testament

Most people are familiar with a Last Will and Testament, but there is another, lesser known estate planning tool you have in your arsenal – the living trust.

Inheritance Investment Tips

With the right inheritance investment strategy, you can put your inheritance to good use in the short-term and plan ahead for the long-term.

Should You Give Your Kids an Early Inheritance?

The “living inheritance” is a growing trend in estate planning, particularly among baby boomers. Consider the following before giving your kids an early inheritance.

Tips for Finding Lost or Missing Estate Planning Documents

If you can't find documents from your loved one’s estate plan, a stressful time becomes even more challenging. Use these tips to find lost or missing estate plan documents.

Revising Your Estate Plan After Divorce

Neglecting to revise your estate plan after a divorce can have financial consequences. Remember to revisit these three key elements of your estate plan.

Probate and Estate Settlement: What You Need to Know

As an executor, you may have questions about what probate whether the estate must go through the probate process. Learn more about probate and what to expect.

Incorporating Charitable Giving into Your Estate Plan

Besides the intrinsic rewards, charitable giving may have significant tax benefits, as contributions may be deductible from income and estate taxes. Learn more.

3 Tax Responsibilities Every Executor Should Know About

Between estate tax, estate income tax and personal income tax, executors have many federal and state tax responsibilities. Learn about executors' tax duties.

5 Financial Conversations You Should Have With Your Spouse

Financial unknowns can set the stage for marital strife. To ensure you and your better half are on the same page about finances, use these tips to start the conversation.

10 Signs it is Time to Review Your Estate Plan

Reviewing your estate plan ensures your plan stays up to date. Consider revisiting your estate plan with your attorney and financial advisor after the following events.

5 Things to Do Before Meeting with a Financial Advisor

A financial advisor is a valuable member of your estate planning team. Follow these tips to prepare your thoughts, documents and priorities for that meeting.

10 Tips for Sorting & Cleaning Out a Loved One’s Belongings

After losing a loved one, cleaning out their home may feel too overwhelming. Try these tips to make the emotionally and physically challenging process smoother.

14 Questions to Consider When Creating Your Estate Plan

Following the steps in this estate planning checklist, anyone may be able to minimize gift and estate taxes and preserve assets for inheritors.

5 Tax-Deductible Expenses Every Executor Should Know

Executors must settle the estate’s tax liability. Taking advantage of allowable deductions can reduce the estate tax burden.

5 Estate Planning Steps to Prevent Family Feuds

Family members sometimes fight over inheritance. Taking these five steps when preparing your estate plan could be the key to leaving behind a happy legacy.

5 Conversations Estate Owners Should Have with Their Executor

Being an executor comes with a lot of challenges. As the estate owner, you can make the executor’s job easier by addressing estate planning items ahead of time.

Choosing Beneficiaries Wisely, with Taxes in Mind

Tax implications may vary depending on your relationship to a beneficiary and the type of asset. Understanding the consequences is critical for estate planning.

Choosing the Right Executor for Your Estate

Your estate's executor will have many responsibilities. Selecting the right person helps ensure assets will be distributed per you wishes and all debts paid.

Discussing Your Estate Plan with Your Family

Discussing your estate plan with family and other beneficiaries can help prevent future family feuds. Use these tips to handle sensitive conversations with beneficiaries.

Coping with Grief and the Loss of a Loved One

When a loved one passes away, even the simplest tasks feel overwhelming. But grief does lessen with time. Try these steps which may help in coping with grief.

Death and Finances: What to Know When a Loved One Dies

Dealing with the death of a loved one can be difficult enough without the additional responsibility of settling the deceased's estate. Here are some other important factors to keep in mind.

Adding an Explanatory Letter to Your Will

An explanatory letter gives you the opportunity to explain the reasoning behind your decisions, without affecting the legal validity of your will.

Choosing a Legal Guardian for Your Minor Children

Preparing for what will happen to your young children if you die is emotionally challenging, yet important. Here are a few keys to look for in their guardian.

Asset Titling and Estate Planning: What You Need to Know

Understanding who owns assets is an important step in estate planning. Learn the difference between types of asset ownership and how asset titling impacts your estate plan.

Estate Planning 101: A Basic Estate Planning Guide

Understanding the basic concepts and vocabulary of estate planning can help you produce an estate plan ensuring your wishes are known and followed.

How to Write a Will and What to Include: A Quick Checklist

Most people understand the need for a Will, but don’t have one. They may be unsure where to begin or what to include. Use this checklist to get started.

Estate Planning with a Non-Citizen Spouse

There are unique estate planning considerations if you or your spouse is not a citizen of the United States. Residency status affects your or your spouse’s estate tax liability as well as your marital deduction.

Filing Tax Returns: What Executors Need to Know

If you are the executor of an estate, you need to file separate tax returns on behalf of the deceased and the estate. Learn the different taxes executors must pay on behalf of the estate and when to file these taxes.

Funeral Planning Guide: Planning Ahead for Your Funeral or Memorial Service

After losing a loved one, the family must make funeral arrangements. Taking the time to write out your funeral wishes in advance saves your loved ones a great deal of stress. Use this guide to outline your funeral arrangement preferences.

Handling Your Inheritance Responsibly

If you recently received an inheritance, how can you keep from spending it quickly and recklessly? Use these tips to handle your inheritance responsibly.

How to Avoid a Contested Will

While you cannot guarantee your estate will be settled dispute-free, there are steps you can take to avoid a will contest.

How Does Divorce Affect an Inheritance?

When most couples get married, they’re only thinking about building a new life together, and don’t consider what to do if things don’t work out.

How to Explain Your Executor Choice to Your Children

Effective estate planning requires making informed decisions, and usually some tough choices. Here are some tips on how to broach the subject of your executor choice.

Estate Settlement 101: Guide to Being an Executor

Understand your responsibilities as an executor, and know which steps to take first with our executor checklist. We help make your executor duties easier.

Who Should You Include in Your Trusted Contacts?

The decisions you make in the estate planning and estate settlement process have far-reaching consequences. It is critical you build a team of advisors or "Trusted Contacts" to support you along your journey.

Understanding Inheritance and Estate Taxes

If you inherit an estate from a loved one, it's important to understand how taxes may affect these assets. Learn the difference between estate tax and inheritance tax and their potential tax liabilities.

What to Do if You Think a Loved One is Not of Sound Mind

A person’s mental capacity may naturally diminish over time. Here are some considerations for what you can do when you think a loved one is not of sound mind.

Will I Have to Pay Taxes on My Inheritance?

The tax implications for an inheritance vary depending on the state of residence, size of the estate and type of asset received. Learn more about potential inheritance taxes.

What to Do if You Inherit the Family Business

The family business is now your business, and choices you make in coming months will chart the course for its success. Here are some important first steps to take.

What Happens if There is No Will?

Without a will, the court will be responsible for naming the executor, distribution of assets to heirs and naming a guardian for any minor children.

When Should I Write My Will?

There is no universal “right time” to compose a will, but the following life events should provide motivation to write your first will or amend an existing will.

Types of Trusts Used for Estate Planning

Understand what a trust is, the different types of trusts, and how to incorporate them into your estate plan.

What is a Power of Attorney and Why Should You Consider It?

A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a person to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so. Learn about the different types of POAs and implications for the level of control the attorney-in-fact will have.

Estate Planning During Retirement

Retirement is a time to get your financial affairs in order – as well as preparing for the years ahead and the legacy you want to leave behind.

Estate Planning Strategies for Blended Families

What does the “yours, mine, and ours” of combining assets and estate planning look like in today’s diverse makeup of marriages and blended families?

Estate Planning for Military Families & Veterans

Whether you are active duty or a veteran, having your estate plan in order provides peace of mind knowing your loved ones will be cared for should something happen to you.

Estate Planning for Singles

Estate planning is just as important for unmarried persons as it is for families – and singles have unique estate planning needs.

Estate Planning for New Parents

Young parents often think estate planning can be put off until they are older, but drafting your estate plan is just as important as putting together the crib.

Estate Planning and Administration after the Death of a Spouse

The first year after the death of a spouse requires a great deal of attention to the estate planning and settlement process.

Estate Planning for Parents of Special Needs Children

For parents of children with a disability, estate planning is particularly vital to ensuring the best possible future for your child after you’re gone.

Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples

Same-sex couples can now take advantage of estate planning rights automatically guaranteed to spouses. Here are five estate planning considerations for LGBT couples.

Estate Planning Conversations to Have With Your Spouse

Finances don’t top most couples’ lists of favorite dinner topics, so use these tips to guide an effective estate planning conversation with your spouse.

What is a Special Needs Trust?

A special needs trust is an estate planning tool to benefit a person with a physical or mental disability, particularly if they receive government benefits.

Where Should I Keep My Will?

Where should you store your Last Will and Testament and estate planning documents? Here are some common storage locations for estate planning documents.

Why You Need to Keep Your Beneficiary Designations Up to Date

Reviewing beneficiary designations regularly, and after key life events, is vital to ensuring they continue to align with your estate planning goals.

How to Know When an Estate Needs a Professional Appraisal

As an executor, you may have to get assets appraised. Here are some tips for knowing when you need an appraisal, how to find the right appraiser and what to expect.

Including Friends & Extended Family in Your Estate Plan

With careful estate planning you can leave a lasting legacy for those beyond your legally recognized immediate family.

Beginner Estate Planning for Millennials

Being wealthy is not a requirement for creating an estate plan. Neither is being old, retired, having a family or owning a lot of assets. If you are a Millennial, and you haven't started estate planning, here's how to get started.

Everything You Need to Know About Insurance

Insurance is one of the most common, versatile, and misunderstood constellations of products out there in the greater financial planning universe. A good, reputable policy can help you mitigate many different types of risk for you and your loved ones.

Your Year-End Tax Planning Guide

This guide is here to help make sure you aren’t missing any critical tax moves that should be on your list for the end of the year.

6 Common Portfolio Protection Strategies

The key to successful long-term investing is preserving capital. You should remain keenly aware of your portfolio and the losses you're willing to endure in an effort to increase your wealth.

8 Tips for Smooth Business Transition

About three-quarters of small business owners plan to sell their businesses to help fund their retirement, according to a survey from CNBC and the Financial Planning Association. But less than a third have a written succession plan.

Investing with Robo Advisors

Robo advising is on the rise. Here's some information on the latest trends.

Understanding the Basics of Trusts

There are dozens of types of trusts, and no one size fits all. They can be an invaluable tool for tax and estate planning, and they offer myriad of benefits to a wide range of people and for many purposes.

What is a Contingent Beneficiary and Why Do You Need One?

Naming a primary beneficiary makes it clear who is first in line to receive their assets when they die. But what happens if the primary beneficiaries die before the person with the assets, or are unable to be located or refuse to take possession of the assets at the time they are to be transferred?

Avoiding Risk Correlation and Concentration

Many business owners invest their personal wealth where they feel most comfortable—which often means investments related to their core business: be that by industry, asset class or even country. However, this understandable strategy can create cross-correlation risks between corporate holdings and the owner’s personal investment portfolio.

Should You Include Alternative Assets in Your Portfolio?

An important question for people as they manage their investment portfolios is whether they want to include alternative assets. And if they do, which alternatives are appropriate, and how do investors go about acquiring them?

Should You Have a Trust for Your Estate Plan?

Trusts are a crucial part of estate planning, especially for people with substantial assets.

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