Bobby’s Blog

How To Protect Your Deceased Loved One’s Identity

Losing a loved one is a heartbreaking, gut-wrenching event that can turn your world upside down. Sadly, many criminals exploit this terrible event and steal your deceased loved one’s identity. In fact, the identities of almost 2.5 million deceased Americans have been stolen and used to fraudulently open credit card accounts, apply for loans and get cellphone or other services, according to AARP. The predators of this world troll for personal information from hospitals, funeral homes, and/or obituaries. With a name, address and birth date, criminals can purchase your deceased loved one’s Social Security number for a nominal fee. Don’t...

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Estate Planning Tip: Leave a Personal Touch

Many people experience a common nostalgic scenario – you’re cleaning out your closet or rummaging through the pile of boxes in your attic and stumble upon family photos. Your mind is inundated with a wave of memories and emotion. For some people, they embrace this moment and take a trip down memory lane. Your estate plan should incorporate this type of personal touch with a reflection of the life you’ve lived and loved ones you've left behind. Unfortunately, many estate planning attorneys focus solely on the nitty-gritty of estate planning such as making sure you have a valid will, properly...

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Estate Planning Tip: Watch Out for State Taxes

When people begin estate planning, they probably think about the federal estate tax (commonly referred to as the “death” tax). However, a lesser-discussed tax issue is state estate and inheritance taxes. This is a complex, state-based issue and it’s advisable for you to sit down with an experienced estate planner to make sure your plan takes into consideration potential state taxes. Some states collect estate taxes and while other states collect inheritance taxes (some actually collect both). You may be thinking, “what the heck is the difference between an estate tax and an inheritance tax?” Well, an inheritance tax is...

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As the New Year Approaches, Take Time to Re-Examine Your Estate Plan

We’re rapidly approaching 2015 and now is the time that many people take a step back to take inventory of big events in 2014 and plan for the new year. If you have an estate plan, it’s a good rule of thumb to re-examine your plan at least once a year (do NOT put together a plan and throw it into a lockbox for all eternity- it simply will not work). If you do not have an estate plan, you should make it a goal for 2015. Remember, estate planning is not just for you, it is also about...

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Estate Planning Tip: You May Be Able to Qualify for a Real Estate Tax Exemption

Did you know that seniors are eligible to reduce their real estate property tax bill if they meet certain state and local requirements? As part of the estate planning process, proper counseling should also include taking full advantage of tax programs that are available to alleviate the tax on your estate while you are alive as well as after you die. For example, in Maryland, Virginia, and District of Columbia, there are programs allowing credits to be applied against your property tax bill, as long as the property taxes exceed a fixed percentage of your gross income. Basically, this places...

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