Insights for Your Financial Life

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INSIGHTS FOR YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE

Our integrated wealth planning solutions are designed to strategically coordinate all aspects of your financial life. 

Each month we publish Trust & Investment Update, a helpful newsletter to communicate valuable financial planning, trust, and estate planning information as well as potential legislation that could be consequential to your wealth management planning. 

Current Newsletter

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Additionally, valuable topic-based articles are found below to help keep you informed about many financial management issues.

2024 Articles

Roth plan tweaks

A variety of rule changes for retirement plans were enacted a year ago in the SECURE Act 2.0. This article reviews changes affecting Roth retirement accounts that took effect on January 1, 2024.

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Giving while living

Before there was The Giving Pledge established by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, there was Chuck Feeney. Feeney was a philanthropist that few have heard of because he hated publicity.

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Where's my refund?

To reduce the number of telephone calls to the IRS, the Service has improved its online support for tracking refunds for taxpayers. Instructions and a link to the tool may be found here. 

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2023 Articles

Lost Will

Having a will is an important step for every responsible person who owns property.  Making certain that the will is available after one’s death is the next important step, because a will won’t do much good if it can’t be found.

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Inflation, stocks, and bonds

In 89 of the last 97 years, inflation was lower than the total return in the stock and bonds markets.

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Crypto Con

Details are sketchy, but it seems that a man in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, has lost some $9.2 million in an online romance scam.

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An unexpected relative

In 2018, Loch David Crane, a California resident, died without having made a will.

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The Biltmore estate

George W. Vanderbilt, the grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, acquired thousands of acres of land in North Carolina, where he built a mansion from 1889 to 1895.

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Family farms and the estate tax

Merle Parks left the bulk of his estate, which included a farm, to his nephew Ronald. Merle died on September 19, 2003.

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2022 Articles

AATO Delaying Retirement

Does recent inflation plus the decline in the stock market suggest that retirements should be delayed? Read about our answers to FAQ.

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The History of Fighting Serious Inflation

Read about the extraordinary step Paul Volcker took to conquer inflation in the 1970s. 

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The Lost Will

It is important to have a will, but even more important to take steps to ensure the will is available to heirs after you pass away. Read about the problems Theodore faces after he lost his will.

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Tax Notes from the 2023 Budget Proposal

The most notable proposal is income taxation of unrealized capital gains. Learn about the tax notes from the 2023 budget proposal. 

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Fear of Missing Out

"FOMO" is not a sound investment philosophy. Learn the three things that everyone should not miss out on, according to Ms. Schock.

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Disappointment for NFT Collectors 

Learn about how a recent collectibles craze may have peaked. 

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Planning Ahead

How's your health? Your family history? You'll want to take these into account, and you probably should plan for longer than you expect to live.

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Post-Death Property

More and more estates are getting argued over after the passing of a friend or family member. Read about what happens to your property after death.

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Ask a Trust Officer 

Read our answers to questions about a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder asking for advice on dealing with inflation. 

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Challenging Year

"The most challenging year taxpayers and tax professionals have ever experienced." That is how the National Taxpayer Advocate, characterized the 2021 tax filing year.

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FAQs About Trust

More and more affluent families are exploring the unique financial management and financial protection advantages of trusts. Read about our answers to FAQ.

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IRAs for 2021 and 2022 

In 2019 Congress revisited the rules for qualified retirement plans and IRA's, with an eye toward boosting retirement savings. Learn about key IRA boundaries.

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When Should You Consider a Living Trust

Living trusts are flexible, versatile, asset-management tools that can offer long-range value in a variety of financial and family circumstances. But they aren't for everyone. 

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How Much Compensation is "Reasonable"?

Clary Hood is an American success story. Following his father's footsteps in the land grading business. After creating his own business, Hood faces serious tax issues.

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2021 Articles

Gift Values During a Pandemic

The value for federal gift tax purposes of a gift of $100,000 in cash is $100,000, and the same is true for the value of $100,000 worth of publicly traded stock. Those are the easy cases. 

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The IRS’ “Dirty Dozen” for 2021

Each year the IRS puts a spotlight on scams that could have tax implications. Their recent report shows the influence of the coronavirus pandemic on the criminal activities of scammers. 

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Inflation Watch Continues 

Investors remain very nervous about where inflation is headed. Recently, the Case-Shiller national home price index posted its largest year-over-year increase since the index was created.

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Good Offense is Best Defense in Will Contests

When Dad leaves everything to the child who visited most in the nursing home, a will challenge may be in the works by family members who feel cheated out of their legacy.  

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“Do-it-yourself” Fails in Woman’s Estate Plan

Anne Aldrich wrote her will on an “E-Z Legal Form” ... It was duly signed, witnessed, legal, and unambiguous. However, it did not contain a “residuary clause” for disposing of property.

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Insurance and Divorce

Beneficiary designations —for life insurance or retirement plans, for example — are an often overlooked aspect of estate planning.  A change in life circumstances may suggest a need to change those beneficiaries.

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Why Bond Prices Go DOWN When Interest Rates Go UP

Simple math can explain this. Here is an example: You have a bond with a face value of $1,000 that pays 5% every year, or $50. When the bond matures you receive $1,000. Now imagine that interest rates have jumped to 7%, so a new $1,000 bond pays $70 every year. What happens to the value of your 5% bond? 

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Where's Dad's Password List?

One important new aspect of estate planning concerns “digital assets,” a form of property that only recently has come into existence. Digital assets are electronic ones and zeros; that is, information inscribed on a tangible medium or stored in an electronic or other medium and which is retrievable in perceivable form. 

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Five Benefits of Working With a Financial Planner

One important area in which some people may be overconfident is financial management. There is so much more to financial planning than setting some goals and pinching some pennies. Here are five basic benefits that may come from working with a financial planner to create an organized financial plan.

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You should always consult with your tax advisor before making any decisions. Not FDIC insured, not insured by any government agency, no bank guarantee, may lose value.

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