Revocable trusts are a very popular and useful estate planning tool. But the trust will be ineffective if you do not actually place your assets in the trust. Revocable trusts are an effective way to avoid probate and provide for asset management in the event of incapacity. In addition, revocable trusts — sometimes called “living”…

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When you inherit property, such as a house or stocks, the property is usually worth more than it was when the original owner purchased it. If you were to sell the property, there could be huge capital gains taxes. Fortunately, when you inherit property, the property’s tax basis is “stepped up,” which means the basis…

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Medicare premiums are set to rise a modest amount next year, but still cut into any Social Security gains. The basic monthly premium will increase $3.90, from $144.60 a month to $148.50. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the premium and other Medicare cost increases on November 6, 2020. The hike could…

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As Medicare premiums rise, a Medicare Advantage plan can seem like an attractive option. But if you are considering switching from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, you need to know what to look for. Medicare Advantage plans are run by private insurers, unlike Original Medicare, which the federal government operates, although the medical…

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The rules around required minimum distributions from retirement accounts are confusing, and it’s easy to slip up. Fortunately, if you do make a mistake, there are steps you can take to fix the error and possibly avoid a stiff penalty. If you have a tax-deferred retirement plan such as a traditional IRA or 401(k), you…

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The Social Security Administration has announced a 1.3 percent rise in benefits in 2021, an increase even smaller than last year’s. Cost-of-living increases are tied to the consumer price index, and a modest upturn in inflation rates and gas prices means Social Security recipients will get only a slight boost in 2021. The 1.3 percent…

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