Taxes

Samuel B. Ledwitz Joins the The National Advocates Top 100 Lawyers

Samuel B. Ledwitz Joins the The National Advocates Top 100 Lawyers Link to Samuel’s Profile at The National Advocates The National Advocates: Top 100 Lawyers is an invitation-only national organization composed of America’s Premier Lawyers. Membership is extended solely to a select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who exemplify superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and profile as lawyers practicing in designated aspects of the law. Members of The National Advocates are carefully screened prior to receiving an invitation for membership. The criteria used in the evaluation process include, but are not limited to, the following: Reputation among peers, the judiciary, and the public The previous year’s achievements in the practice area of specialty Board Certifications in area of specialty Nominations received from leading lawyers, current members and/or our executive committee members Leadership and membership within other national and state lawyer or specialty organizations Rankings and ratings of the attorney by established associations or organizations The National Advocates’ mission is to promote excellence in the legal profession through advocacy training, marketing, networking and education of lawyers....

BE CAREFUL ABOUT “REVERSE” MORTGAGES

On the surface, a reverse mortgage seems like an excellent way to supplement your retirement income. By using your house as collateral, a bank will pay you (instead of you paying them) its equity (value) back to you in monthly installments. By taking into account their hidden fees and with the eventual loss of title of ownership, the following paragraphs will argue that this type or mortgage may not be such a great idea after all. The reverse mortgage originated in 1989. In that year, the Federal Housing Administration, under the direction of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, started a program called Home Equity Conversion Mortgages. As Mortgages in Canada are available to property owners over the age of 62, their relative ease in being obtained and popularity through clever advertising, made them grow at an exponential rate. Some Expert Witnesses claim that these home loans covered even the post-construction procedures, such as surveys and inspections. Under their terms, the home being mortgaged must be your primary residence. The amount of money that can be paid to you is based upon the equity of your house. If you have other mortgages in force (with using your home as collateral), the remainder of your equity will be the basis upon which the funds will be derived. Payments made you can be in one lump sum, in installments for the rest of your life, or as a credit line. Another plus is that this source of income is not subject of income tax. The duty to repay the loan is deferred until either: your die (as being the...

BE SKEPTICAL WHEN GETTING AN EMAIL OR PHONE CALL FROM THE I.R.S.

In their never-ending pursuit with finding new ways to scare and defraud honest taxpayers, criminals are now employing a new scam. This one involves reaching out to citizens (either by telephone or via the internet), identifying themselves as I.R.S. agents, and making baseless criminal allegations demanding immediate payment of taxes owed. Once more, many scammers have been able to modify Caller I.D. readouts and in using the official federal agency’s logo embedded within their fraudulent emails in order to pull off this deception. This trick is currently being carried out across the United States, and has needlessly stressed out and swindled a large number of middle class families and retirees. According to the Internal Revenue Service, agents do not initially contact taxpayers either by phone or by email regarding a tax matter. Instead, residents are first notified by regular mail. Only after someone has been formally contacted by traditional methods do they confer electronically. If you or a loved one receives any type of phone call or email like this, the first step in taking action is to contact your local I.R.S. field office. Their number can be found in the white pages, or online. Second, you can notify the U.S. Treasury Inspectors at (800) 366-4484 and provide them with as much relevant information as you can. Another option to take in fighting back is to simply email: phishing@irs.gov and copy/paste the suspect email message. Lastly, the I.R.S. recommends that you also contact the Federal Trade Commission and activate a consumer complaint by filing an “I.R.S. telephone scam” report. Their main website is:...

Using Qualified Personal Residence Trusts To Lower Your Taxes

Clintons seek to avoid a tax they once supported Bill and Hillary are reportedly using tax advantaged strategies used by multimillionaires. Read More at fortune.com   Qualified Personal Residence Trusts – Bezaire, Ledwitz & Associates, APC Qualified Personal Residence Trusts, or QPRTs (pronounced “cue-pert”), are Advanced Estate Planning instruments that help clients transfer their principal residence at a lower Estate/Gift Tax value. Clients benefit from a QPRT’s by transferring their principal residence into an Irrevocable Trust (meaning that the trust cannot be amended, modified, or revoked once it has been created and funded), and retaining a right to live in that residence for a period of years. The named beneficiaries of the trust will receive the residence from the trust when the term ends, should the Grantor survive until that time. Read More at Bezaire, Ledwitz & Associates, APC Video – Qualified Personal Residence Trusts, Bezaire, Ledwitz & Associates, APC [wp_lightbox_ultimate_youtube_video_embed videoid=”16BkGj4A2ls” playlist=”” width=”853″ height=”480″ hd=”1″ autoplay=”1″ display_control=”1″ fullscreen=”1″ autohide=”2″ theme=”dark” show_suggested_video=”0″ use_https=”” enable_privacy=”” show_logo=”1″ showinfo=”1″ auto_popup=”” direct_embed=”” anchor_type=”image” text=”” source=”https://smartestateplans.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/qprt.png”] Qualified Personal Residence Trust Viewpoints on Financial Planning A qualified personal residence trust is ideal for anyone who has a substantial estate and is expected to face future transfer taxes. One of the best tools to manage future transfer tax liability for wealthy families is a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT). Read More at http://www.bbt.com/bbtdotcom/wealth/retirement-and-planning/trusts-and-estates/qualified-personal-residence-trust.page The ABCs of QPRTs A popular estate planning technique in today’s growing real estate market is to transfer a residence to a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT) to reduce the size of the estate. This article provides a case study on the mechanics...

Estate Planning News – April 22nd, 2014 – IRA Inheritance

In this week’s Estate Planning News, our firm has highlighted the oft-overlooked area of Estate Planning and IRAs. We chose three articles that explain different IRA planning strategies, ideas, and perspectives on how IRAs can and should be used in an Estate Plan. Retirement accounts, in general, are governed by strict regulation and need to be handled carefully by well-informed parties. This digest should arm readers with information to adequately discuss their plans with a qualified professional. If You Are the Surviving Spouse of an IRA Owner – Fidelity.com If you are the spouse of an IRA owner who has named you as his or her beneficiary, it’s critical that you-and the owner of the IRA-understand the rules that govern IRA inheritances. Read More at https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/surviving-spouse-IRA Ed Slott and Company – IRA, Tax, Retirement Planning Articles, Insight Previously, same sex married couples did not have the spousal IRA benefits of opposite-sex married couples under the tax code. These benefits include the ability to make spousal IRA contributions, tax-free splitting of IRAs in a divorce, and spousal rollovers at death. However, the IRS recently issued guidance that gives same-sex married couples the spousal IRA benefits. Read More at http://www.theslottreport.com/2013/09/spousal-ira-rollovers-for-same-sex.html Understanding Who Should Be Beneficiary of Your IRA How To Turn A Modest Tax-Deferred Account Into Millions For Your Family How would you like to turn your modest tax-deferred account into millions for your family? Depending on whom you name as beneficiary, you can keep this money growing tax-deferred for not only your and your spouse’s lifetimes, but also for your children’s or grandchildren’s lifetimes. Read More at...

Estate Planning News – April 14th, 2014

In this week’s inaugural edition of Estate Planning News, our firm has selected some helpful articles from around the web that cover problems commonly encountered by clients during the Estate Planning process: so our readers won’t make them! In an article from CNBC, authors highlight mistakes Estate Planning clients frequently make. The problems discussed occur all too often, as clients consistently regard Estate Planning as a “one-time” action rather than the lifelong process it ought to be. This is great reading for people who have not reviewed their estate plan recently. Along similar lines, Professor Gerry Beyer of Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog identifies the “Ostrich Syndrome” associated with Estate Planning, where clients do not want to begin the process because it is difficult to confront the questions associated with drafting a comprehensive plan. We wholeheartedly agree with him that this creates more problems than it solves. The article about an Estate Planning checklist is a good place for people overcoming the aforementioned “Ostrich Syndrome” to start when they realize they need a plan. It can be overwhelming to consider all of the steps that need to be taken when planning for the future, and having an easy-to-understand list of potential considerations is a big help. Finally, we conclude this week’s Estate Planning News with an interesting piece about digital assets and estate planning. In an age increasingly dependent on intangible assets and cloud technology, considering things like email accounts, subscriptions, and other digital property are often an afterthought when it comes to Estate Planning. Avoid the top 5 estate-planning blunders – CNBC.com CNBC.com Avoid the top 5 estate-planning blunders...